Everton Ladies dazzled for Willie Kirk’s first game as manager, beating Liverpool 2-1, but have since gone on to suffer two defeats in a week. Interestingly, both teams that have beaten Everton - Bristol City and Manchester United - were formerly coached by Kirk.
The Blues lost 2-0 to Bristol on Sunday, leaving them in 9th place (out of 11) and 2 points off of the last place relegation zone spot.
The Toffees lost 3-0 to Man United for a Thursday night Continental Cup game, meaning that they will not progress to the second stage. Last season, cup games were a highlight of Everton’s season but things have not been going their way so far this campaign. To be fair, United is a new competitor to the cup and a highly unique one at that, having only started their women’s team this season but have built an excellent roster not typically seen in the second tier. For instance, Everton’s own Mollie Green left the Blues over the summer to join the Devils alongside the likes of former Liverpool players Alex Greenwood and Siobhan Chamberlain.
All of Man United’s goals came in the first half, the first two off of headers and the third was a freekick just beyond the penalty area. The team is helmed by Casey Stoney and until recently, Kirk was assistant manager, leaving the club to become Everton’s head manager after Andy Spence stepped down.
Man United are in first place of their Continental Cup division and will progress to the quarterfinals.
The loss means that Everton cannot get the 4 points necessary to progress even though they still have a cup game to play against Liverpool on Sunday, which was rescheduled due to a water-logged pitch a week ago.
Even if the game doesn’t mean anything for their cup campaign, the Blues will be looking to prove that their 2-1 victory against the Reds was no fluke. They can also serve to spoil Liverpool’s chances to progress to the quarterfinals because the Reds need a win on Sunday and a good goal differential. Anything is possible, considering that former Evertonian Courtney Sweetman-Kirk is on a hot streak for the Reds, having scored 3 goals in the last 2 games.
After the derby, the Toffees won’t play their next match until January. Let’s hope that Kirk can gain some goalscorers for the squad during the transfer window.