Everton got back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory in their Continental League Cup clash against Sheffield United on Saturday evening.
The Blues were in action for the first time since their tight 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City seven days earlier and were full value for the win at Glanford Park.
Brian Sorensen’s side dominated for large periods of the game, however, it proved to be a resilient defensive showing from the hosts in the opening 55 minutes.
The deadlock was finally broken though thanks to a bit of quality in front of goal provided by Katja Snoeijs early in the second half, and then the points were wrapped up late on with strikes from Hanna Bennison and Jess Park.
The Blues didn’t take long to impose themselves and managed to put a lot of early pressure on the Blades’ backline.
Gabby George had Everton’s first sight of goal inside six minutes, she reacted quickest from a corner to strike a vicious effort which was blocked.
The rebound fell back to George’s feet, but the defender could only direct her second effort into the side netting.
The visitors continued to enjoy the early momentum, and Karen Holmgaard was next to go closest to breaking the deadlock.
She ghosted into the penalty area unmarked to latch onto Aggie Beever-Jones' cross, but her resulting header whisked just wide of the post.
Clare Wheeler was then denied a stunning opener when her sweet strike from distance was tipped onto the bar by United goalkeeper Nina Wilson. Snoeijs latched onto the rebound but Wilson was again equal to the resulting shot.
Everton continued pushing hard for the opening goal, but the hosts defended doggedly to keep the scores level going into the break.
Megan Finnigan, who looked in some discomfort at the end of the half, was replaced by Aurora Galli for the second period.
The Blues saw plenty of the ball in the early stages of the second half but struggled to convert that possession into any meaningful efforts on goal.
A fast break from the home side served as a wakeup call for Sorensen’s men as Muir broke free and tested Courtney Brosan for the first time in the game.
That chance for the hosts sparked the Blues into life as just minutes later Snoeijs put Everton ahead with her first goal since joining the club.
Great attacking pressure from Lucy Graham forced an error in the United back line, allowing Snoeijs to run through and calmly finish into the far corner.
Seven minutes later Park nearly doubled Everton’s advantage. She hit a shot from distance that Wilson nearly fumbled into her own net. Fortunately for the home side, the United ‘keeper managed to claw the ball away before it crept over the goal line.
Keen to seal the three points, Sorensen then made a triple substitution as goalscorer Snoeijs, Beever-Jones and Stenevik made way for Gio, Leonie Maier and Bennison.
Just ten minutes later the latter made her mark on the game. The 20-year-old was alert and excellently intercepted a pass deep inside the United half as the hosts tried to play out from the back.
Bennison then stepped forward with the ball before smashing it into the top corner.
Everton made it three eight minutes later when fellow substitute Gio drove down the left flank before dancing her way through United defenders in the box and cutting the ball back for Park to simply fire it home and secure her second goal since joining the club.
Kenzie Weir joined the action in the final moments, replacing Karen Holmgaard.
Saturday's win leaves Everton in a strong position in Group A, a point behind first-placed Aston Villa with a game in hand.