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What we learned from Everton Ladies’ 3-3 draw against Brighton

What happened?

Abbey-Leigh Stringer
Everton Ladies

Everton Ladies played Brighton Hove & Albion at home on Sunday and if you watched it live on Facebook, lucky you because it was a great game! Not only has the WSL improved the quality of the livestream cameras but they even have replays now! Progress!

It was an entertaining game, unfortunately, because Brighton rallied late in the game to come back from a 3-1 scoreline to make it level at 3-3

Everton Ladies now have 2 points from 4 games, with two losses and two draws. The Toffees place in the table didn’t change after this game, as they remain in 9th place.

Here’s what we learned from this game:

1. Everton Ladies CAN score after all!

Everton and Brighton both came into this game winless and goalless. The Toffees lost their top goalscorer over the summer to Liverpool and their other goal threat, Chloe Kelly, had been busy with the U-20s World Cup earlier this season. But thankfully, this game ended the goal scoring drought.

New signing, Inessa Kaagman, started the Blues scoring off of a Simone Magill assist in the 27th minute.

Defender Gabby George’s header made it 2-1 just before the half:

Chloe Kelly is back in scoring form after coolly passing the ball into the net in the 70th minute after beating a Brighton defender. She told Royal Blue Mersey in an interview last season that the key component to scoring is “composure in and around the box” and she definitely demonstrated that on Sunday.

2. Everton Ladies need to improve their defense on set pieces.

The saying goes that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but it certainly did at Merseyrail Community Stadium on Sunday.

The Blues were on their way to a comfortable 3-1 win over the Seagulls when, in the 75th minute, two poorly defended set pieces put a stop to their victory celebration.

Below are the two goals from Brighton’s supersub, Ellie Brazil. And no, this isn’t a replay, this is footage of the two goals, within three minutes of each other that look exactly alike. Each time, Brighton have a free kick from way outside the box and Brazil heads it in from close range near the far post.

3. Everton Ladies have to stop losing points to bottom table teams.

There’s no nice way to put this. In a league with only 11 teams, with top teams like Arsenal and Man City easily beating others by 4 or more goals, you have to get your small wins. Everton have to beat teams that have just been brought up and have only recently gone full-time.

One team will be relegated this season and that team is most likely going to be Yeovil Town, a team currently in last place with 0 points and a -13 goal differential through four matches (Everton’s currently sits at -5). Yeovil Town will hopefully save Everton from a relegation scare this season, but what about next season when there is no Yeovil Town? Everton deserve to be a mid-table team and they have plenty of games left to prove that they are.

But Everton Ladies can’t give away points to lightweight teams anymore. Brighton came in second place in the WSL 2 last season. This should have been an easy win for the Toffees.

Brighton manager Hope Powell told BBC Sport that she considered the game “a win” for her team.

”It felt like a win for us, the fact that we got a point and we scored three goals.”

Meanwhile, Everton manager, Andy Spence considered it a loss:

”These mistakes in games are not only something that we’ve spoken about in connection to this game, they have caused us issues in other games, and for too long really in truth.

”They need to stop because we are losing games because of it, and this is a loss for me, because of the way we finished, it is not good enough.

”I do not see this as a point gained, I see it as points lost by ourselves.

”We didn’t play poorly on the whole, it was just naive mistakes that keep hurting this team, and they will cost us if we don’t think our way through matches in future.”

Next up, Everton face West Ham United Women at home on October 28th. West Ham are also new to the top tier of the WSL this season, but they sit just above Everton on the table at 8th place. The Blues must win against West Ham in order to progress in this league.

Starting XI - Everton Ladies: Levell, Bruinenberg, George, Worm, Brougham, Hinds, Stringer, Kaagman, Finnigan, James, Magill

Brighton and Hove Albion Women: Hourihan, Gibbons, Rafferty, Aileen Whelan, Buet, Peplow, Barton, Natkiel, Umotong, Williams, Brett