Attacking Play Pleases Walker

Claudia Walker insisted the team performance counted for more than her hat-trick in the 8-1 FA Women’s Cup win over Brighouse Town.

The striker’s treble added to goals from Simone Magill and debutant Olivia Chance, who both netted braces, and Michelle Hinnigan.

It was the fluidity in the Blue Girls' attacking play that caught the eye, as they regularly threatened the Brighouse goal throughout the opening 90 minutes of their new campaign. 

Walker admitted it is an area the team have worked on in pre-season and so was delighted to see early results on Sunday.

“I’m really happy and it’s a nice way to start the season,” she told evertonfc.com. “I was pleased with the goals – there was even a left foot finish in there! I have been working on trying to be more composed, more relaxed when the chances come so I was pleased to get off the mark. 

“The group have been back in training for a while now so we have all had a lot of touches of the ball already and everyone is feeling really confident. 

“The link-up play was coming together and it has been something we have been working on in training. If we can keep developing that this year then I think there are a lot of goals to come from all of us as an attacking force. 

“There were plenty of names on the scoresheet so that can only be a good thing for us. We want to make our mark in competitions like the FA Women’s Cup and the Spring Series and use it as a base ahead of the regular season.”

Walker Brighouse goal 470
Photos courtesy of Thomas Gadd Photography.

The third round tie also saw new signings Chance and Amber Stobbs make their debuts as second half substitutes. The pair have impressed on trial, with manager Andy Spence adding them to his attacking corps.

Walker added that the pair have settled in well, and was equally pleased to see Chance get off the mark.

“It was great to see Amber and Olivia make their debuts,” she continued. “I wouldn’t really class them as new now – they have been with us for a few weeks. The way they have settled in makes it feel like they have been here for ages.

“They are two lovely girls, they have fitted into the team well and have brought different qualities to the group. I’m really happy for both of them, especially for Liv who scored her two goals.”

The Toffees are next in action on Sunday when they travel to Oxford United to kick off the Spring Series. They also face fellow WSL 2 side Durham in the fourth round of the FA Women’s Cup, with the tie to be played on 19 February.

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