Everton Ladies 2-1 Chelsea Ladies
An injury time Jill Scott strike ensured a 2 – 1 victory for Everton Ladies in an exciting encounter at the Arriva Stadium.
The Blues’ skipper latched onto a long ball in the dying minutes before looping an effort over advancing Chelsea keeper Shannon Lynn.
Everton had taken the lead in the 34th minute when Alex Greenwood’s excellent centre was converted at the far post by Toni Duggan. before Chelsea drew level just after the restart.
Eni Aluko put strike partner Sofia Jakobson clear and her powerful drive beat Everton stopper Rachel Brown-Finnis, whose efforts to save proved to be in vain.
A lively opening saw chances for both teams, Duggan latched onto a through ball from Michelle Hinnigan but her effort went narrowly wide with Lynn helpless.
Chelsea responded three minutes later when the ever-dangerous Aluko forced a smart save from Brown-Finnis. The forward then reacted quickest and her square pass saw Blues right-back Vicky Jones miraculously block a Helen Ward effort at point blank range.
An end-to-end game ensued but the Toffees made the decisive breakthrough just after the half hour mark when the impressive Greenwood overlapped Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah and delivered a pin-point cross which was tucked home by the hard-working Duggan.
Chelsea responded immediately after the break. Aluko latched onto a through ball, ran at Lindsay Johnson before playing in Jakobson who finished at an angle.
The goal though inspired a renewed vigour in the Everton ranks and, after applying the pressure on the visitors' backline, a scramble involving Scott, Duggan and Chelsea centre half Katie Holtham saw a brilliant effort from Duggan cannon back off the crossbar with the keeper rooted to her line.
With the game looking like a stalemate, manager Andy Spence introduced 18-year-old Simone Magill on the 80 minute mark and the substitution almost paid immediate dividends. First she had a shot well saved by Lynn before her dangerous cross was miscued by Duggan.
With time running out, it was Scott’s moment to grab the headlines when a long hopeful pass from the back was latched onto by the midfielder – and her delicious chip sealed the win for Everton, breaking Chelsea hearts in the process.
When asked about the result, manager Spence thought the scoreline was deserved.
He said: “I think in the end, with all the chances we created and the way we pushed in the second half in particular, the result was fair.
“I think we would have been disappointed had we not come away with the win, and all in all, I am happy with the three points.”