Spence: We Brought Our A-Game

Everton Ladies Head Coach admitted his side “brought their A-game” despite suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.

The Blue Girls have regularly gone toe-to-toe with the more established clubs since their return to WSL 1 and did so again at Kingsmeadow against the title challengers.

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk hit the post from the spot and Chloe Kelly saw a free-kick well saved by Hedvig Lindahl as Everton edged the first half.

But it would be the hosts who snatched victory in the 83rd minute as Chelsea left-back Jonna Andersson rifled a Fran Kirby pass into the top corner.

Blue Girls Head Coach Spence could not fault the efforts of his players and believes another vital lesson has been learned in their evolution as a top-flight side.

“We brought our A-games today in our performance,” he said. “We knew we were facing one of Europe’s top sides, a club who have progressed immensely over the last few years. 

“But the exciting thing was that we felt we could do something – that if we were positive we could get a result. And we were seven minutes away from doing that.

“On reflection, in the first half, no one really could have argued if we were two or three goals ahead based on the chances we created and the penalty. But that happens and we know we have got to be ruthless. 

“Chelsea have that and that is why they will be up there competing for the title.”


An entertaining contest at Kingsmeadow had its share of controversy in the 22nd minute as Chelsea’s Anita Asante fouled Sweetman-Kirk, denying her a clear effort on goal in the process.

Referee Robert Whitton, however, deemed the infringement worthy of only a yellow card, with Sweetman-Kirk denied by the upright from the spot.

Spence was left frustrated by decision but refused to let it detract from another strong display from his charges.

“It was a red card,” he added. “You don’t want to see players sent off but you’ve got to apply the letter of the law. 

“I’ve watched it back and the definition as I see it is if the touch from Courtney is taking her too far away from goal then it is a yellow. But her touch takes her to the middle of the goal.

“But sometimes you get decisions like that. We won’t let it take anything away from our performance because it was another top display from our girls.”



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