Everton Ladies got their 2010/11 Champions League qualifying campaign off to a flying start as they thrashed Faroe Islands’ outfit Klaksvik 6-0 in Lithuania.
A brace from Fara Williams and goals from Natasha Dowie, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan and Gwen Harries contributed to a comfortable victory in Šiauliai Central Stadium.
The Blues kicked-off the competition in familiar surroundings having visited the Lithuania in 2007, and started the game brightly, passing and probing looking to open up a Klaksvik side who were determined to defend deep and make life difficult for the visitors.
The Blues were patient in their play and we rewarded for their efforts after 23 minutes when following a great delivery from wide from Rachel Unitt, Michelle Hinnigan was on hand to cooly steer the ball into the bottom corner with a well taken left-footed finish.
The Blues continued to dominate and in the 37th minute great combination play on the edge of the box between Jill Scott and Dowie saw the striker brought down inside the area and a penalty awarded. Williams stepped up and struck with venom into the top left hand corner.
Everton took great confidence from doubling their advantage and added a third only two minutes later when Dowie received a pass from Unitt to spin and finish with aplomb.
After only two minutes of the second period the Toffees netted a fourth when a deflected Williams free-kick was headed in cleverly by Toni Duggan from 10 yards – the midfielder looping her header over the oncoming goalkeeper.
Although Everton continued to dominate and had some near-misses, the visitors had to wait until the 87th minute to add their fifth when a superbly struck left-footed drive from Williams found its way past the Klaksvik stopper. Mo Marley’s side followed up their late effort with a sixth in added time as Gwen Harries neatly finished another well constructed Everton move.
Harries’ goal was virtually the last kick of the game and rounded off an excellent start to the tournament for Everton. The second half saw Everton bring on two recent academy graduates - Alex Greenwood – who made her first team debut in the match, and Nikita Parris who got her first taste of European football.
Amy Kane who has recently returned to Everton from Blackburn Rovers, also made a positive contribution to the second half performance.
Everton assistant manager Andy Spence was extremely pleased with their start to this season’s European campaign.
“We are delighted with the level of performance the girls produced against a team who made life difficult for us by getting numbers behind the ball each time we attacked,” Spence told evertonfc.com. “The passing and movement was excellent and resulted in some quality goals being scored.
“We now have to reflect on this game and turn our intentions to our next game against Borec from Macedonia.”
Everton Ladies’ next outing is on Saturday against Macedonian side ZFK Borec. Be sure to check back to evertonfc.com to see how the Ladies get on.
Everton: Brown, Unitt, Williams, Johnson, Handley (capt), Scott, Dowie (Parris 68), Hinnigan (Kane 67), Duggan (Greenwood 68), Chaplen, Harries.