Everton Ladies, one of the giants of the women’s English game return to league action today 8/4/2012 in the second season of the inaugural Womens Super League ( WSL ). A league made up of 8 of the countries leading womens teams ( Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Doncaster Belles, Lincoln, Birmingham, Bristol Academy & Liverpool ).
Today’s opening fixture against arsenal saw the girls travel down to borehamwood, a ground which has proven hard for visiting teams to gain a victory, could not have provided a tougher opener for the girls. Arsenal who have been the dominant force in womens football for some time strengthend their squad with additions Alex Scott, Kelly Smith & Gemma Davison over the summer, whilst Everton saw the signing of double Olympian hopeful Eartha Pond from BIrmingham Ladies and youngsters Alex Greenwood & Nikita Parris who have come through the ranks.
This was going to be a tough opener, but with the quality and experience in the team such as england internationals Fara Williams, Jill Scott, Rachel Brown to name a few, Everton were far from “the underdogs”, a term commonly used for a team considered to have little to no chance. Having had a slow start to least seasons debut wsl season which consisted of 4 draws and 1 defeat before a break for the womens world cup and which saw Everton end as the in-form team winning all but one fixture of the second half, the girls were looking to hit the ground running, and that they did.
Starting the more brightly of the two, it was no surprise when Everton took the lead through a Toni Duggan goal inside the first 10 minutes, the early goal appeared to kick arsenal into life, creating a period of pressure from the gooners which eventually resulted in a Danielle carter goal to level.
Arsenals persistence saw the gooners take the lead with a second through a Jordan Nobbs goal. Two yellow cards seen Everton fullback Brookie Chaplen dismissed and Everton down to 10 going into the break.
After the break arsenal were first out the blocks almost making it 3-1 after being awarded a penalty after Fara WIlliams brought down Carter inside the box, however the score line remained 2-1 after Kim Littles spot kick hit the post. Everton later levelled after a Alex Greenwood free kick was turned in by Toni Duggan.
The girls were unable to weather a arsenal pressure period with Katie Chapman eventually sealing victory for the home side after a cross from Alex Scott and the game eventually finished 3-2.
Poor refereeing seen a opening day defeat. Aside from the negatives, today a battling performance and quality finishes from the girls provides a very positive feeling and attitude going Into our first home tie against Birmingham ladies on April 22nd. Another tough fixture as Birmingham finished 2nd last season, but a fixture the girls will be looking to win.
Teams Arsenal : Byrne, Scott, Grant, Houghton, Flaherty, Ludlow, Chapman, Nobbs (Fahey 90+1) , Carter ( Davison 62) , Little, Yankey ( E.White 82)
Everton: Brown, Chaplen, Greenwood, Johnson, Easton (Pond 90+2) , Handley (Parris 65) , Williams, Scott, Harries (Kane 82) , Hinnigan, Duggan
Submitted By Lynsey Alexander
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Check out her blog at http://thoughtsofablue.wordpress.com/