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Everton Women done in by 3 set pieces against Reading

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Set piece defending is in question once again

Birmingham City Women v Everton Ladies - FA Women’s Super League - St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium
Manager Willie Kirk and Chloe Kelly
Photo by Bradley Collyer/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Last season, Everton Women had difficulties defending set pieces and it cost them — they finished in second to last place. Their last game of the season ended in a 3-1 defeat by conceding three times to Liverpool on set pieces.

This season started out brightly, keeping two clean sheets in their first two games and only conceding one against Manchester City. But then came Reading and veteran player Fara Williams to welcome back the curse of the set-piece defending at Everton.

It surely was an entertaining game at Adams Park on Sunday, with four goals scored within the first 23 minutes. The Toffees ended up losing 3-2 despite coming from behind twice.

The first goal with the free kick assist from Williams:

Everton forward Chloe Kelly proved once again that she deserved to be named Barclays Women’s Super League Player of the Month by scoring an equaliser, but Reading made it 2-1 after a corner from Williams connected with Jade Moore.

Everton won a penalty, which Lucy Graham converted to make it 2-2.

The 3rd Reading goal came off of another corner from Williams:

Kelly told WSL.com after the game that set-pieces were the difference in this game:

“We conceded too many set-pieces and when you concede that many they’re bound to score. We didn’t defend our set pieces well enough.”

“Although we scored two, we’re still conceding so I think we need to tidy up on that. We haven’t actually conceded from open play yet so we’re doing well from that perspective but we need to tidy up on set pieces.”

Everton Women started out the season in first place but are now in fifth.

Their next league game is against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday 27 October (12.30pm GMT). It was supposed to be the first game played in their new stadium at Walton Hall Park, however, tickets are still being sold for their current stadium, Southport. No details have been given as to a new start date for the stadium move — but let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Everton (4-3-3): Tinja-Riikka Korpela; Kika Van Es, Megan Finnigan, Gabrielle George, Danielle Turner; Maeva Clemaron, Molly Pike, Lucy Graham; Inessa Kaagman, Simone Magill, Chloe Kelly.

Substitutes: Esme Morgan for Pike 45, Hannah Cain for Kaagman 78.

Substitutes not used: Kirstie Levell, Taylor Hinds, Georgia Brougham, Elise Hughes, Abbey-Leigh Stringer.