The Scottish international fired home Gabby George’s looping cross following some Villa pressure, giving Brian Sorensen’s side a third win of the season while condemning their hosts to back-to-back home defeats.
The Blues started the game well and looked comfortable in possession. It was the Villans who had the first chance though, leading scorer Rachel Daly firing wide from close range.
Everton had their chances though, Katrine Veje’s effort was comfortable for Anna Leat, while Graham glanced a Hanna Bennison cross just wide with her head.
Villa cranked up the pressure as the half went on, Daly was denied by Courtney Brosnan; the ‘keeper diving bravely at the striker’s feet after the forward found herself one-on-one with the Blues’ stopper.
The hosts continued to pressurise the Everton backline after the restart, but the rearguard remained firm and resolute, Natalie Bjorn, in particular, producing a display that will have delighted the Blues’ boss.
And the visitors’ resilience was rewarded on 58 minutes. Bennison found Megan Finnigan, who fed Jess Park down the right wing, and the forward picked out the oncoming George, whose inviting cross was driven home emphatically by Graham.
Villa went on the offensive as they searched for an equaliser, but they found no joy against an organised Everton, who held on for the three points and a clean sheet that delighted Sorensen.
“This is a tough place to play. It was a battle but looking back I think we deserved it. They only had two shots on goal, we defended really well today. I think we should perhaps create more than we did over the 90 minutes but I am so happy with the win and for the girls.”
️ | "We came here with a fight and a desire. We can show that [quality] even more. To hit the top level, we need to show that throughout the game."— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) October 23, 2022
Winning goalscorer @JustLuc_ praised her teammates battling performance as the Blues beat Villa on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/Ord319Eoe4
The two sides won’t have to wait too long to do battle again as they meet in the FA Women’s League Cup this coming Wednesday at Walton Hall Park.