Everton Ladies manager Andy Spence hailed his team’s fantastic performance against Sunderland following a 5-1 win on Sunday at the Select Security Stadium.
Doubles for Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and captain Dan Turner, plus a Chaney Boye-Hlorkah strike, gave the Blue Girls their second WSL 1 victory of the season in the final league game of 2017.
“We wanted to work really hard in terms of implementing what we had been able to work on in training over the past couple of weeks and I think it came out with the performance,” said Spence.
“There were lots of good individual displays, but the main thing was the team, from the goalkeeper to the centre forward. Everyone put in a top performance and you get good results when you put in displays like that.
“We will look back at certain games and think maybe we could’ve converted some of the narrow defeats into draws or a win but overall we are pleased with the progress we have made because we are new into the league and there are a lot of good teams in this division.
“We have worked hard to show we are more than capable of playing here and I think our development in this first half [of the season] has proven we are in the right place and we are only going to get better.”
Sweetman-Kirk got her third and fourth goals of the season in the Sunderland win, and Spence was pleased the forward was back on the scoresheet in preparation for Saturday’s Continental Cup quarter-final tie against Reading in Widnes.
“That’s the reason we brought her to the football club because she always scored against us,” joked Spence. “She has a record of scoring goals and her confidence is really high. She is fit and strong and a constant threat to the opposition so it’s nice for her to continue that goalscoring run.
“We can celebrate the fact we have done well but we need to move on quickly because we are facing a really good side in Reading. For me, Reading are the most in-form team from all the games I have watched this season and that takes a lot with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City sitting at the top of the league.
“In terms of opposition it is a big game, but it is one we are going to look forward to because we are playing well, we are a good team and we have lots of talent so we are looking forward to next week.”