Everton Women boss Brian Sorensen feels that there are a number of things his team can improve on but praised his stars after a battling performance saw the Blues come up short against title-chasing Arsenal at Meadow Park.
Katja Snoeijs continued her fine scoring form this year when her equaliser cancelled out Caitlin Foord’s ninth minute opener. The Dutch star now has three goals in two games and is forming what looks like a potent partnership with Karoline Olesen, whose wonderful through ball was coolly dispatched by the forward.
But it was ultimately a familiar story for the Toffees against the top four as Beth Mead nodded home Lia Walti’s cross in first half stoppage time to restore her team’s lead in what was ultimately the game’s winning goal.
The hosts remained in charge of proceedings going into the second half but came up against a young, but well-drilled and stubborn Everton rearguard.
The performance overall was encouraging for Sorensen, who paid tribute to both Snoeijs and Olesen, but the manager couldn’t hide his irritation for the manner in which his team defended against the Gunners’ second goal, however he was quick to acknowledge Arsenal’s strength and quality.
“I think we did all the work in the first hour to get us into a situation where we could get something out of the game,” he said.
“The goal for 2-1 still irritates me as it is a situation we have control in and we forget to mark in the back spaces.
“If you look at that team (Arsenal) it’s unreal. And then the possibilities they have from the bench!
“But we are still young and we put up a fight.
“I said to the girls at the start that I felt that we were a bit intimidated at the beginning, but we were together and were in a position with opportunities to maybe grab something at the end.
And on both goalscorer and creator, Sorensen added:
“Katja has been sharp, even in training, and Karo, at 18, to go in and give a performance like that against a team whose average age is a lot older than ours and more experienced, is good to see.
“There are many things we have to improve on but there is much to build on with that performance.”
The result sees Everton remain in eighth place in the table on 11 points.
The Blues can now look forward to a double-header against Leicester City next week. The Foxes will host Everton in the League Cup on Wednesday evening before Willie Kirk’s team travel to Walton Hall Park four days later in the WSL.