Sunday’s affair helped put Everton’s horrendous start to the season further in the rearview.
The Blues couldn’t have asked for a better start. In the second minute, new recruit Anna Anvegård muscled her defender off the ball inside the box and rocked a shot into the back of the net for her first goal in blue.
A frightening collision in the 30’ between Everton center-back Rikke Sevecke and Reading midfielder Natasha Harding resulted in a stoppage of play. Sevecke would return, while Harding left the pitch.
Eight minutes later, Izzy Christiansen found Claire Emslie inside the box, and the Scottish winger curled a gem of a shot into the netting.
Nine minutes into extra time, captain Danielle Turner stepped up to take a set piece from 24 yards out. Composed as ever, the Toffees’ left back bent the ball up and over the wall to put the visitors ahead three.
In the 52’, Christiansen sent a long ball over Reading’s defense to Anvegård. The Swedish striker was inches and an offside flag away from notching her second marker of the afternoon.
Christiansen again was involved with 15 minutes to go, as the English midfielder was taken down inside the 18. Reading’s goalie, Grace Moloney, however, stymied Christiansen from the spot to keep Everton from putting up a fourth.
Moloney was called upon once more in the 82’, denying Emslie from netting a picturesque, upper-left corner goal.
Speaking after the game, manager Willie Kirk was pleased for the squad depth this season.
“It is looking a bit bare, but I think everybody who has come in has done a job. That’s why we needed a strong squad. When you have three or four out, the quality doesn’t deteriorate.
“It’s fantastic quality that we’ve got throughout the squad and that will have to continue if we’re going to be successful. We’ll get players back, we’ll have more players get injured.
“There’s every chance we’ll try bring in one or two in January. That depth is critical to how we go about this season.”
Reading (4-3-3): Grace Moloney; Faye Bryson, Deanna Cooper (Chloe Peplow 15), Gemma Evans, Lily Woodham; Brooke Chaplen, Justine Vanhaevermaet, Natasha Harding (Emma Harries 33); Deanne Rose, Amalie Eikeland, Natasha Dowie
Unused Substitutes: Rhiannon Stewart, Rachel Rowe, Bethan Roberts, Leila Lister
Bookings: Woodham 90+1
Everton (4-3-3): Sandy MacIver; Danielle Turner (Poppy Pattinson 76), Gabby George, Rikke Sevecke, Leonie Maier (Megan Finnigan 63); Aurora Galli, Kenza Dali (Grace Clinton 81), Izzy Christiansen; Toni Duggan (Hanna Bennison 80), Claire Emslie, Anna Anvegård (Valerie Gauvin 63)
Unused Substitutes: Courtney Brosnan,
Goals: Anvegård 2, Emslie 38, Turner 45+9