Everton v Doncaster
Fara Williams’ stunning 25-yard drive ensured Everton Ladies came away with a point after a frustrating afternoon at the Arriva Stadium.
The Blues started brightly, Natasha Dowie’s clever running caused the Doncaster back line problems, Williams narrowly fired over from 20 yards and Jill Scott’s dangerous cross was well defended by Doncaster’s Victoria Williams.
A Brilliant Lucy Bronze tackle on Katie Holtham gave Doncaster Belles their first corner and Alyssa Lagonia resulting kick was not dealt with by Rachel Brown, nor her defenders, which allowed Leandra Little to stab home from close-range to give the visitors the lead.
Everton continued to threaten down the flanks, Natasha Dowie headed over from a Gwen Harries cross, while quick passes between Nikita Parris and Michelle Hinnigan saw Doncaster keeper Mary Earps smother bravely at the feet of Parris. Jill Scott’s through ball saw another Earps save, this time from Natasha Dowie as an equaliser continued to elude Everton.
The second half started as the first 45 had ended. Everton continued to threaten as they searched for the equaliser. Fara Williams’ defence-splitting pass saw Natasha Dowie clean in on goal, but the forward – whose hard work didn’t earn her the goal she deserved – was again to be denied by the Doncaster keeper, with Parris firing over wildly from the rebound.
The breakthrough then came on 52 minutes, the excellent Williams won the ball in midfield, surged forward, and then unleashed a sublime shot which caught the otherwise flawless Earps off her line to draw the Blues level.
Dowie was unfortunate not to give Everton the lead a minute later, but drove her effort over the bar after a through ball from Jill Scott.
Doncaster’s defending was getting more and more desperate. Leandra Little reacted brilliantly to clear a Michelle Hinnigan centre from under her own crossbar whilst under pressure from Dowie.
Everton felt they should have had a penalty on 84 minutes when Scott appeared to have her legs taken from under her by Earps, but referee Michael Hanley waved the appeals away.
Scott’s frustrations grew further still when she saw her header cleared off the line with Earps beat, ensuring Doncaster escaped with a point.