Walker's Delight After Hitting First Goals Since Injury Comeback

Claudia Walker admitted “it’s been a long time coming” after scoring her first goals since returning from long term injury.

The striker’s brace helped Everton Ladies secure a morale-boosting 3-2 win over Reading in the Continental Cup on Sunday.

Walker missed much of last season with a serious hamstring injury but returned to action in pre-season and began the season in the team against Durham.

But her two strikes were her first since that return and the understandably delighted Walker was happy to be back on the scoresheet.

“I’m delighted with the two goals,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming after the injury. I scored in pre-season but this is where it matters and I’m really happy to help us win. 

“The first goal comes from us pressing them straight away and it’s a good bit of skill from Dominique Bruinenberg. She’s played a great pass and as soon as I’ve found the angle, I’ve managed to pick out the bottom corner. 

“After the first goal, you get a bit of confidence. I have tried the shot from range and luckily for me it’s ended up in the back of the net. 

“I want to congratulate Inessa Kaagman for her first goal as well. It was a brilliant strike. We are all made up for her because she is a quality player and showed that against Reading.”

The win was the perfect start to the Blue Girls' short-term stay at Southport’s Merseyrail Community Stadium.

Everton will call it home until December and Walker hopes the team build on a victory over their WSL rivals when they host Manchester City and Chelsea later this week.

“It was just nice to be back on home soil and to start with a win there was good for us,” she added. “It showed the preparation we have done all through the summer. The girls have been working hard and we got our rewards.

“We played really well as a team and stuck to the game plan.

“We had the fire in our bellies after two disappointing defeats. We wanted to go out there and show what Everton is about. We played on the front foot and that allowed us to get the goals.

“But this game is gone now. We’ll be back on the training ground on Tuesday ready to go again on Thursday night against City.”

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