Lincoln Ladies v Everton Ladies
Everton Ladies boss Andy Spence hailed a perfect night for his side after they registered their first Super League victory of the season at Lincoln Ladies.
Brooke Chaplen gave the visitors the lead against the run of play midway through the first half, but the Toffees controlled the game thereafter.
And substitute Nikita Parris wrapped up victory with a classy run and finish two minutes from time.
“I’m delighted with both the result and the performance,” declared Spence.
“Coming to Lincoln is a big challenge. They’ve always been a team we’ve struggled to get a result against. This time we got the result and the performance.
“In the first 20 to 25 minutes Lincoln were the better team and we were lucky to go in at half-time leading.
“But in the second half we really got on our game and probably shaded the match.”
Buoyed by an excellent start to their Continental Cup campaign, Lincoln made a bright start.
Precious Hamilton had the first chance when a delicate effort was fumbled by stand-in Everton keeper Lizzie Durack before being cleared behind for a corner.
However, the home side’s good work was undone midway through the first half when they gifted the visitors the lead. The normally reliable Karen Bardsley was the culprit when her mis-hit clearance went straight to Chaplen, who lobbed the England keeper from distance.
Both sides made a lively start to the second half with Toni Duggan driving an effort straight at Bardsley while, at the other end, Hamilton sent an effort high and wide following a flowing Lincoln move.
And after another bout of Lincoln pressure, Emily Roberts saw a powerful effort deflect into the arms of Durack.
The Everton keeper then almost gifted Lincoln an equaliser when she dropped a Jess Clarke shot before gathering the ball on the goal-line.
Everton responded by bringing on Parris, who sent a curling effort just wide of Bardsley’s post seconds after coming on.
Substitute Bonnie Horwood engineered Lincoln’s best chance of the half with a superb defence-splitting pass to Clarke, but she poked the ball inches wide with just Brown-Finnis to beat.
It proved to be a key miss as Everton grabbed a game-clinching second goal two minutes from time. The two substitutes combined as Simone Magill played in Parris, who used her pace to break clear of Lincoln defence before superbly clipping the ball over Bardsley.
Lincoln (4-3-3): Bardsley; Turner, Bradley, Stoney, Martha Harris; Walton, Allen, Megan Harris (Kay 81); Clarke, Roberts (Horwood 66), Hamilton, Clarke. Subs not used: Draycott, Cantrell, Sargeant.
Red cards: None
Everton (4-3-3): Durack; Jones, Nelson, Johnson (Magill 46), Greenwood; Kane, Boye-Hlorkah (Parris 61), Scott; Hinnigan, Chaplen, Duggan. Subs not used: Handley, Durack, Jones, Williams, Whipp
Red cards: None