Everton Women failed to turn a dominant performance at the King Power Stadium into a win thanks to some exceptional goalkeeping and a dogged Leicester City display.
The FA WSL’s bottom club have ‘keeper Janina Leitzig to thank for avoiding defeat; the Bayern Munich loanee produced a number of saves, including two exceptional stops to deny Katja Snoeijs and substitute Aggie Beever-Jones from securing all three points for the Blues.
The draw keeps Everton in sixth place and six points behind Aston Villa while former boss Willie Kirk’s side are now just one point away from safety.
Brian Sorensen will have much to ponder after seeing his team fail to score in the last three league games. The boss made three changes with Elise Stenevik, Hanna Bennison and Nico Sorensen all returning to the starting line-up.
And it was the latter two that were the games brightest sparks in the opening 45 minutes, with both linking up well to construct and lead the Toffees’ attacks. But for all of the endeavour shown by the visitors, the opening half produced little in the way of chances as a compact Leicester soaked up the pressure.
Katrine Veje looked as though she’d never been away despite only recently returning from injury. The experienced defender replaced Bennison after 54 minutes and looked assured in both defence as well as providing that attacking spark.
Six minutes later came the best chance of the game so far. Snoeijs found both space and the ball in the Leicester penalty area but her goal-bound effort was brilliantly pushed around the post by Leitzig.
Everton kept plugging away but found the German custodian in impenetrable form. No finer example of this was deep into normal time when Sorensen’s inviting centre was headed back across by Karen Holmgaard only for Beever-Jones, who had replaced Stenevik in the first half, to see her shot brilliantly kept out by the Foxes player of the match. Leitzig could do little with Izzy Christiansen’s rebound though, and will have been grateful to see the England international’s effort go agonisingly wide.
The Blues continued to chase a winner right into the seven added minutes of injury time. Beever-Jones rose well to connect with a dangerous Sorensen ball into the box, but was unable to keep her header down as Leicester’s dogged determination was rewarded with a point.
From the King Power Stadium to Goodison Park next for Everton. The Blues will take to the hallowed turf on 24 March to contest the Merseyside derby in 12 days time.