Chelsea Ladies v Everton Ladies
Toni Duggan struck a stunning hat-trick as Everton Ladies claimed a fine 4-1 victory over Chelsea on Sunday to head into the mid-season break on a high.
In front of the watching England boss Hope Powell, Duggan did her European Championship aspirations the power of good by firing the Blues up to third position in the Women’s Super League table.
There was little doubt that Duggan was the star of the show as she put her side comfortably in control following Michelle Hinnigan’s first-half opener.
And Helen Ward's strike late on proved nothing more than a consolation for Chelsea, as Everton put last week’s agonising derby defeat behind them.
The WSL will now take a two-month break – but Duggan hopes her time away from domestic action will be spent leading the line for the Three Lions at this summer’s tournament in Sweden, which starts at the beginning of July.
Powell’s final squad is set to be announced on June 17, and Duggan said: “My focus was to put in a good performance and I hope I have given her [Powell] something to think about.
“I’ll be waiting and hoping my name is in the squad. It was a really good day.”
After Hinnigan had opened the scoring with a close-range tap-in, Duggan netted her first goal with a stunning 25-yard effort.
Chelsea came close when Ward fired wide and Eniola Aluko saw a goalbound effort deflected over.
But the game was put to bed when Duggan got her second after half-time, Brazilian Esther losing possession in her own penalty area and Duggan coolly stroking home.
The Academy product then claimed her hat-trick from the spot after Jill Scott was brought down by Kylie Davies, with Ward's strike proving inconsequential.
“The first was with my left-foot so I am happy with that,” added Duggan. “I got a bit lucky with my second as there was a mix-up in their defence, and the third was a penalty after great work by Jill. I’m happy with how it went.”