After speculating during the week as to who would start in net, Manager Willie Kirk rolled with 22-year-old Sandy MacIver, who had struggled with form and fitness in recent weeks but saw an uptick in fortunes when she earned her first England cap against Northern Ireland on February 23rd.
Spurs started the match with an early look on goal but fired the ensuing shot over the net. Jill Scott then got to work and found Nicoline Sørensen, who won a corner. On the following possession, Spurs winger Angela Addison looked to have a straight look on goal, but Danielle Turner made a blistering recovery run to nullify the threat.
Just seven minutes into the affair, the Toffees earned a penalty — Sørensen hit a cross from the left wing, and winger Claire Emslie’s header back across the face of goal found Alanna Kennedy’s hand. Valérie Gauvin stepped up to the spot and tucked the ball into the bottom-right corner, past a diving Aurora Mikalsen.
11 minutes later, Tottenham committed another foul inside the box, this time it was Kerys Harrop booked for holding. With that call, the London side set the ignominious record for the most penalties conceded in a Super League season (six). Gauvin stepped up, and, for a second time, beat Mikalsen, sending the Danish keeper the wrong way.
And Gauvin would have another chance to earn a hat trick later in the half: Ingrid Moe Wold, who was streaking down the wing, played a silky one-two with Emslie, a move that sprang the right back down the flank. Wold crossed the ball to Gauvin, who proceeded to head her shot over the crossbar.
But for as well as Everton played, they continued to struggle to play out from the back. In the 35’, after failing to break Tottenham’s pressure, Kit Graham picked off an errant pass and dinked a pass over the center-backs to Addison, who deftly chipped MacIver to half the deficit.
The start of the second half saw Everton center-back Gabby George play her first minutes since tearing her ACL on February 17, 2020. Over a year of recovery and rehab culminated in a second-half substitute appearance and an ovation from her teammates.
Just over 10 minutes into the half, Gemma Davison picked the ball up around the center line and drove to the 18, where she crushed a strike past a diving MacIver and into the lower left-hand corner. While blowing a two-goal lead could have deflated the Blues, Scott’s experience buoyed the team.
Four minutes after Tottenham leveled, the 34-year-old elevated on a corner kick and smashed a header into the back of the net. Scott’s tally not only gave Everton the lead, but it also galvanized the away side to close out the contest and earn a 3–2 victory.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
It has been quite a week for Jill Scott: she became just the second England player to earn 150 caps, she captained the Lionesses to a 6–0 drubbing and scored the winning goal in a vital fixture for her club side. Not bad for one of the most decorated players in the women’s game.
Everton (4-1-4-1): Sandy MacIver, Danielle Turner (c), Rikke Sevecke, Megan Finnigan, Ingrid Moe Wold, Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Nicoline Sørensen, Izzy Christiansen, Jill Scott, Claire Emslie, Valérie Gauvin
Substitutes: Maéva Clemaron for Stringer 46, Gabby George for Finnigan 46, Simone Magill for Gauvin 66, Hayley Raso for Emslie 69
Unused Substitutes: Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Alisha Lehmann, Lucy Graham, Grace Clinton, Poppy Pattinson
Goals: Gauvin 7 (p), 18 (p), Scott 61
Bookings: Stringer 37
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Aurora Mikalsen, Kerys Harrop, Shelina Zadorsky (c), Abbie McManus, Esther Morgan, Angela Addison, Ria Percival, Alanna Kennedy, Gemma Davison, Kit Graham, Rosella Ayane
Substitutes: Jessica Naz for Davison 62, Rianna Dean for Addison 75, Lucy Quinn for Ayane 75, Chloe Peplow for Naz 90
Unused Substitutes: Amy Martin, Siri Worm, Cho So-hyun, Josie Green
Goals: Addison 35, Davison 57
Booking: Kennedy 18