Ladies striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk is confident there is something to build on following her first season at Everton, insisting a more clinical Toffees can step up a level in 2018/19.
Everton went down 3-0 to Manchester City in their final WSL 1 fixture on Sunday in what was their first campaign back in the Ladies’ top flight.
Despite the result, Sweetman-Kirk was keen to stress that her side more than held their own throughout the match and “sloppy goals” were the reason City were able to seal victory.
The forward, who has nine goals this campaign, was unlucky not to equalise at the Academy Stadium after the ball fell to her just outside the box, only for Karen Bardsley to save well, following Jill Scott’s opener in the 22nd minute.
“It is a frustrating way to end the season,” Sweetman-Kirk told evertonfc.com. “We started well which means it is hard to take. It was sloppy goals that we have given them. I think they have played well but I don’t think they pulled us apart.
“We gave them goals and I think it could have been a red card in the first half. Then it is a different game. We have to forget about that and reflect now, that’s done with.
“The season has been up and down. There have been points where we have been really happy but if you look at the league position we aren’t pleased about that."
The last time Everton travelled to Manchester, the Blue Girls came away with a frustrating 2-1 defeat in the Continental Cup, after ex-Everton forward Nikita Parris headed a last-gasp winner. Andy Spence's side had equalised with 10 minutes to go through a Simone Magill header, showing the type of fight that was clear to see all season.
Unfortunately, Everton couldn’t hold on to what would have been a vital draw, but Sweetman-Kirk noted performances such as that was evidence of the progression the Toffees have made over the campaign.
“If you delve deeper into the games, we came and gave Man City a real test earlier in the season," she added. "The Chelsea game (1-0 defeat), too, we were unfortunate to lose in the manner that we did.
“In those game we haven’t quite converted the chances that we have created and that is something we will need to look at going into next season.
“But next year will be interesting. The movement within the league in terms of players will add a bit of spice to it as well. When we have had a break we will all be raring to come back.”