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Everton Women slip to opening day defeat

Sorensen’s side lost 1-0 at West Ham to start off new season on wrong foot

West Ham United v Everton FC - Barclays Women’s Super League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Match Recap

Everton Women’s 2022/23 FA WSL campaign began with a narrow reverse to West Ham at the Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The men’s side beat the Hammers 1-0 on a day when both home sides were able to eke out single-goal victories.

Scotland international Lisa Evans’ header just before halftime was enough to ensure the Blues went home empty-handed on the opening day of the season, although there were signs of encouragement for Brian Sorensen’s side.

The Toffees looked organised and started well, Lucy Graham’s header from an excellent centre was well dealt with by Hammers’ stopper, Mackenzie Arnold. The hosts soaked up the early pressure and grew into the game, with Blues custodian Courtney Brosnan displaying her handling ability to smartly deal with Evans’ effort. West Ham continued to threaten, Japanese star Honoka Hayashi going close with a shot from distance.

Everton did have the majority of possession during the first half, but that counted for nothing as Evans capitalised on the stroke of half-time. The forward nodded in from close range after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

In the second half, Sorensen’s team refused to let heads drop and pushed for an equaliser, debutant Katrina Veje producing an accomplished and assured display. The former Arsenal defender looks like a shrewd piece of business by the manager.

Aggie Beaver-Jones also looked lively up front, and the Chelsea loanee’s excellent through ball presented a chance for Katja Snoeijs, with Arnold saving well to deny the Netherlands international a goal on her league debut.

Izzy Christiansen and new recruits’ Jess Park and Gio were introduced as the Blues chased an equaliser. And the pressure nearly told deep into injury time, with Christiansen’s effort from outside the box going wide after being found by Lucy Graham following a corner.

The group will have little time to dwell on what might have been in Chigwell. Next up for the Toffees is the Merseyside Derby at Anfield on Sunday, 25 September, at 6.45pm. A perfect fixture to bounce back!

Manager’s Verdict

Match Stats

Everton lined up in a 5-4-1 - 18 Brosnan; 2 Veje, 5 Björn, 4 Sevecke, 6 George (Maier 89’), 27 Stenevik; 17 Graham, 22 Galli (Christiansen 58’), 25 Snoeijs, 10 Bennison (Queiroz Costa 73’); 15 Beever-Jones (Park 73’)

Substitutes - 8 Christiansen, 11 Park, 12 Ramsey, 19 Queiroz Costa, 20 Finnigan, 21 Maier, 24 Weir

Possession: West Ham 34% - 66% Everton

Shots: 7-10

Shots on Target: 2-3

Corners: 5-4

Fouls: 15-7