Everton Ladies fought hard Sunday against Chelsea at the Merseyrail Community Stadium in Southport, proving that their recent 4-0 loss against Man City was a distant memory.
Drawing the WSL Champs 0-0 is a a great feat, but beating them 1-0 is even better, which, by the way, some people believe was the real score.
Due to the quick turnaround of games, manager Andy Spence chose to rest captain Dan Turner and Claudia Walker and started summer signings Hannah Cain and Abbey-Leigh Stringer.
The Toffees defence held off Chelsea for a goalless first half with England senior international, Gabby George, making several heroic challenges.
In the second half, Inessa Kaagman shot from distance, causing Chelsea keeper Carly Telford to fumble the ball and then recovered it. It was ruled a non-goal but Everton appealed that the ball had crossed the line.
Simone Magill came close to scoring in the 60th minute only to see Telford get her fingertips to the ball.
Unfortunately, Hannah Cain went down after a challenge from Chelsea defender Magdalena Eriksson and had to be stretchered off of the pitch.
Everton was able to keep possession half of the time against a team currently battling in the Champions League.
Manager Andy Spence told the club’s website that he was proud of the performance:
“On the counter attack we had our moments and none more so than Inessa’s shot that we felt – hoped – had crossed the line. The fact the goalkeeper has hit the back of the net shortly after clearing it probably tells you whether it was over or not.
“That was one of those little moments that can either go for or against you but certainly in terms of the display, I am very, very pleased and the girls can be rightly proud of a really top display.”
Woman of the Match
Goalie Kirstie Levell made five saves to keep a clean sheet, including an especially impressive one to block Eriksson’s curler in the 25th minute.
Everton Ladies (4-2-3-1): Kirstie Levell; Faye Bryson, Georgie Brouham, Gabby George, Megan Finnigan; Angharad James, Inessa Kaagman; Hannah Cain, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Taylor Hinds; Simone Magill
Substitutes: Dominique Bruinenberg for Cain 69’, Claudia Walker for Magill 89’.
Substitutes not used: Rebecca Flaherty, Dan Turner