Everton Ladies progressed to the semi-finals of the SSE Women’s FA Cup after a 6-1 victory over Durham Women on Sunday afternoon, with either Arsenal waiting in the next round.
The Blue Girls started the brighter and with just two minutes on the clock Everton had their first chance, Chloe Kelly breaking down the right-hand side, beating her opponent and crossing to Courtney Sweetman-Kirk who unfortunately hit her shot straight at Helen Alderson in the Durham goal. Four minutes later Durham responded to their earlier scare as Zoe Ness lined up a shot from twenty yards out however Kirstie Levell was equal to it, calmly pushing the shot over the bar. Yet, it was the Toffees that broke the deadlock on 15 minutes through Sweetman-Kirk who made up for her earlier effort.
Olivia Chance found space at the edge of the box before unleashing a strong shot, stinging the hands of Alderson with the ball rebounding to Sweetman-Kirk who looped the ball over the keeper. On the half hour mark Everton were close to making it two through Meg Finnigan, who was starting at centre-back as the injured Gabby George sat out. Kelly whipped in a corner however it just evaded the head of Finnigan as the ball went out for a goal kick.
Twelve minutes later Everton did make it two, and what a goal it was. Dan Turner showed her electrifying pace down the left-hand side and crossing into the centre, the cross was blocked by Sarah Wilson however Chance was on hand to stroke home to make it 2-0 to the Blue Girls, which is how it stayed until the break.
Ten minutes after the interval, Everton got the elusive third goal that somewhat killed the game, Durham had previously hit the post so it was key that the Toffees got the third goal which Sweetman-Kirk made sure with a good header after Kelly had stood the ball up from the right.
Durham did not lie down as Georgia Brougham was alive to clear the ball off the line after a corner. However, it was Everton who continued with their goal scoring form, quickly grabbing a fourth through captain Dan Turner, the winger sprinting away from her opposite number and rifling the ball into the bottom corner. After a flurry of substitutions which saw Taylor Hinds and Mollie Green enter the fray, Sweetman-Kirk got her third and Everton’s fifth, rounding Alderson from a neat through ball from Kelly.
Durham did get one back with 25 minutes to play, Robson bundling the ball in after a corner yet it was Everton who got the final goal of the day with Jodie Brett sealing off a good performance with a headed finish after another cross from Turner, getting her second assist of the day.
Everton will face off against off Arsenal in the semi-finals on Sunday 15 April 2018, with the venue TBC.