Andy Spence admits Everton Ladies’ clean sheet against Durham will hit him in the pocket.
The Blue Girls boss has been offering an added incentive to his side in a bid to help cut out conceding goals – team meals for every shut out they manage.
The 1-0 success over Durham means dinner is on him once again but Spence is happy to oblige if it means his side continue picking up points.
“It is going to be an expensive start to the month for me because foolishly I opened my big mouth and said that every time they kept a clean sheet I would take them all out for a team meal,” he told evertonfc.com. “Today was the third time in four games!
“I am happy to take them out every week if it means we are seeing clean sheets. We needed to show big hearts and desire to keep the one today.
“I have also got to mention Kirstie Levell because she has made three or four unbelievably good saves. There was one in particular where she has had to get down low to block a shot that has taken a deflection. Her performance shows she is in a good place and that’s credit to the work she has put in in training.”
Levell’s heroics to thwart an improved second half display from the visitors helped Everton secure a big three points in the race for the Spring Series title.
With Durham top of the table prior to kick-off, the Toffees needed a win to go above them, and Gabby George struck on 12 minutes, nodding in a corner.
Everton had further chances to secure the win; Simone Magill hit the bar while the impressive Rachael Laws denied Claudia Walker and Mollie Green.
But Spence was pleased to see his side show plenty of facets to their game, including some eye-catching football and the determination to see the match out.
“I felt first half we were in total control of the game and had four or five really good chances,” he added. “You’ve got to give their keeper a lot of credit, she has made a number of very good saves to keep them in the game. But the football to get into those positions was outstanding.
“We knew that Durham carried a threat from set plays and balls into the box and relatively we have done ok dealing with that. Credit to them, they were better in the second half and put us under pressure. They know what they are good at and I go on record saying they are the most improved WSL team around.
“We knew it would be close, and tough – the FA Cup game earlier in the season told us that – but overall we can be really pleased. The girls showed their qualities on the ball in the first half and their qualities off the ball in the second.”
“But now its back to work and to focus on making sure we are ready for something we are all really excited about – the opportunity to play at the best ground in the world!”
The Ladies will play at Goodison Park next up for their fixture against Watford Ladies on Sunday 14 May, in aid of Everton in the Community’s Home Is Where The Heart Is campaign.
Kicking off at 2pm, fans are being encouraged to turn up and support the Ladies’ team for free and make a donation towards EitC's fundraising drive.