Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah has likened Everton Ladies teammate Kirstie Levell to clubmate Jordan Pickford after her penalty heroics against West Ham United.
Levell was in fine form against the Hammers on Sunday, saving Jane Ross’ penalty to keep the Blue Girls in contention to level after Ross and Alisha Lehmann had overturned Claudia Walker’s opener.
Hours later, Pickford himself was doing likewise, pulling off a stunning save to deny Paul Pogba against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Levell’s stop was one of a number of vital saves she has made in recent weeks, most notably in the final minutes of the home draw with Brighton to keep hold of a point.
Boye-Hlorkah came through the ranks with the custodian and has seen first-hand how Levell has worked tirelessly on her game to become a regular WSL keeper at the age of 21.
“That save will have boosted her confidence a lot,” she said. “Kirstie thinks she’s the female Jordan Pickford doesn’t she, saving these penalties!
“All jokes aside, her reactions to get back up and save the second effort as well were brilliant. Ross was alive to the rebound but Kirstie has got there first and made another really good save.
“Ross is one of the best forwards in the league in my opinion and that save will give Kirstie a huge lift. It could have a really big moment because had they scored, the game could have got away from us.
“It gives you confidence knowing there is a strong keeper who is playing well behind you. Even in moments where I’m passing the ball back to her, I know she is as good with her feet as she is with her hands.
“There are a few good young keepers in the league but obviously I am going to back my own goalkeeper! Kirstie is up there with the best of them and all the girls want her to continue showing the quality that we see day in and day out on the training pitch.
“She works so hard at USM Finch Farm and she wants to be best in training. She is always staying behind to work on things and I’ve never seen that in a keeper before. Kirstie is putting in the work and hopefully she will get out what she puts in.”