Chloe Kelly netted a hat-trick and Claudia Walker was also on the scoresheet as Everton Ladies defeated Oxford United 4-0 in their final Continental Cup group game.
The result puts the Blue Girls within touching distance of the knockout stages of the competition - and a win for Manchester City against Birmingham City on 3 December would confirm the Toffees’ progression.
Everton started the game at Widnes’ Select Security Stadium extremely brightly and within two minutes went close after some silky skill from forward Kelly, who beat her opponent and got a shot away from the edge of the box, but it was deflected just the wrong side of the post for a corner.
Andy Spence’s side continued their pressure and threatened again when Claudia Walker tried her luck. The striker found some room inside the box and unleashed a fierce shot that was excellent tipped over the crossbar by Oxford goalkeeper, Demi Lambourne.
The hosts soon made their dominance count when on 10 minutes, a ball forward was cleverly knocked down by Simone Magill into the path of Kelly who rifled a volley in between the keeper’s legs to take a deserved lead.
Again, Everton did not rest and went in search of a second, Walker again coming close, this time her shot flashed narrowly wide.
The Toffees restricted the U’s to few chances in the first half as they maintained their pressure, again coming close after Kelly clipped a lovely ball forward into substitute Olivia Chance’s path but the Oxford centre-back intercepted just in the nick of time.
Oxford’s best chance of the game came on 41 minutes when Hannah Short connected with a whipped free-kick, but her header was off target.
Everton finished the half as they had started, however, as the impressive Kelly very nearly scored a goal of the season contender with an overhead kick from Dan Turner’s cross, but it was saved well by Lambourne.
While creating a host of chances in the first half, Everton, at times, lacked urgency. But that changed after a half-time team talk from boss Spence, with the Toffees beginning the second period with greater intensity and forcing the visitors into making mistakes.
Siri Worm and Jodie Brett entered the contest from the bench and were very impressive throughout, and although the second goal of the contest took a while to come, Everton always looked the more likely to get it.
It soon came after Brett played an excellent through ball to Walker who slid it under the on-rushing Lambourne.
Kelly got her second and third quickly afterwards. The second was one to remember.
After the ball fell to her on the edge of the box, Walker struck it beautifully into the top corner leaving the goalkeeper no chance.
The match ball was hers moments later after Walker was tripped in the box, giving Kelly the chance to step up and smash the ball down the centre of the net, rounding off an impressive victory.