Everton Ladies made it two wins on the bounce in WSL 1 as doubles from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Dan Turner, along with Chaney Boye-Hlorkah’s effort, sealed an emphatic 5-1 triumph over Sunderland.
After last month’s confidence-boosting 2-0 success at Yeovil Town, it was the Blue Girls’ first league triumph on home soil as Andy Spence’s side showed their attacking class at the Select Security Stadium.
Sunderland started brightly as the ball got played out wide to Mollie Lambert but her effort was easily dealt with by keeper Lizzie Durack.
Five minutes later and it was Everton’s turn to threaten as Boye-Hlorkah, who returned to right wing, linked up with Sweetman-Kirk, getting her shot away but it was saved well by Rachael Laws. Simone Magill was the next to try her luck as she shot from just outside the box, again following good work from Sweetman-Kirk.
Everton made their pressure pay in the 36th minute as Boye-Hlorkah did well to make herself some room in the penalty area, freeing herself from the two Sunderland players and lifting her shot up and over Laws and into the back of the net.
Three minutes later it was two. Faye Bryson worked exceptionally hard to get the ball back off the Sunderland defence, with Sweetman-Kirk on hand to smash the ball into the bottom corner, doubling the Blue Girls’ lead.
During the interval the snow started to pile onto the Select Security Stadium pitch but just six minutes into the second half Everton had a third. It was a well-worked team goal by the Toffees, culminating in Siri Worm playing an excellent ball forward to Turner. The skipper provided an equally excellent first-time cross straight into the path of Sweetman-Kirk for her second of the game.
Not long after, it was four. Turner was again released down the left and her cross-cum-shot sailed over Laws and into the top left corner.
Everton weren’t content with four, however. First, Turner tried her luck from distance before Jodie Brett got into the box, unleashing a powerful shot that struck the foot of the post and bouncing into the goalkeepers arms.
Manager Spence made three changes with 20 minutes to go, potentially to rest some players ahead of the Continental Cup quarter-final clash with Reading next Saturday as goalscorers Boye-Hlorkah and Sweetman-Kirk came off, along with Magill, in place og Mollie Green, Marthe Munsterman and Olivia Chance.
Everton continued to control the game, limiting the visitors to few opportunities, and bagged their fifth in injury-time when Turner produced an excellent solo run, getting into the box and finishing well with her right foot into the bottom corner.
Sunderland grabbed a consolation seconds later when Bridget Galloway found herself unmarked at the back post from a long free-kick to slot home.
But it could not deny Everton from revelling in a fine afternoon’s work ahead of Saturday’s Continental Cup quarter-final against Reading at the Select Security Stadium.