Brighton & Hove Albion’s first block came in the sixteenth minute of Sunday’s affair — that was the highlight for the home side on a dreary day on the south coast. Everton managed a total of six shots on target and buried five of them, running rampant at the People’s Pension Stadium.
After Hayley Raso was fouled inside the box in the 22’ by Maya Le Tissier, Izzy Christensen stepped up to the spot, did a little stutter-step and tucked the ball into the bottom-left corner past a diving Megan Walsh, who guessed the right way.
And it took all of a minute for the Toffees to double their lead, this time through Raso on the right wing: Simone Magill sent a pass out wide to the Australian winger, who drove past three Brighton defenders and passed the ball into the back of the net (with her left foot).
The second began the way the first ended: with revelries for the visitors. Just three minutes into the half, Raso was left unmarked inside Brighton’s third, and a perfectly weighted Claire Emslie pass found Raso’s nogging as the Matilda dove for the score. Everton 3, Albion 0.
With just over an hour played, Magill wanted to get in on the action after setting up Raso’s first marker. Christiansen sent a looping ball off a set piece that bounced around and found the feet of Magill.
And the cherry on top came in the 79’ when Raso pounced on an errant ball inside the box, slamming home her third tally of the day (this time with her right foot). Three goals, three points, three cheers for the Toffees.
With the victory, the Blues opened up a seven-point gap ahead of the Gulls for fifth place in the Super League.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
In the 79th minute, with her team up by four, Hayley Raso pounced on a loose ball inside the six to smash home a right-footed shot for her first-career perfect hat-trick (three goals consisting of a header and a right- and left-footed shot). Raso led a potent Everton attack that put five goals past a Brighton & Hove Albion team that had been in good form (until they met the league’s newest buzzsaw).
Everton (4-2-3-1): Tinja Korpela; Ingrid Moe Wold, Rikke Sevecke, Izzy Christiansen, Simone Magill, Claire Emslie, Abbey Stringer, Hayley Raso, Jill Scott, Megan Finnigan, Poppy Pattinson
Substitutes: Alisha Lehman for Magill 65, Lucy Graham for Scott 72, Nicoline Sørensen for Emslie 72, Gabby George for Sevecke 85, Grace Clinton for Stringer 85
Unused Substitutes: Sandy MacIver, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Maéva Clemaron
Goals: Christiansen 23, Raso 25, 48, 78, Magill 63
Bookings: Emslie 39, Pattinson 67
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Megan Walsh; Danique Kerkdijk, Maya Le Tissier, Aileen Whelan, Megan Connolly, Lee Geum-Min, Inessa Kaagman, Emma Koivisto, Ellie Brazil, Emily Simpkins, Victoria Williams
Substitutes: Libby Bance for Simpkins 45, Kayleigh Green for Lee 56, Maisie Symonds for Brazil 78
Substitutes not used: Cecilie Fiskerstrand, Bethan Roe, Fliss Gibbons, Nora Heroum, Rianna Jarrett, Hollie Olding
Bookings: Kerkdijk 50