Post by Everton News. on Oct 28, 2019 21:50:54 GMT
Everton bounced back to winning ways in WSL as second-half goals from Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan gave Willie Kirk’s side a deserved 2-0 victory over hard-working Brighton in Southport.
After two frustrating single-goal defeats, the Blues showed real intent from kick-off at The Pure Stadium but it took until the 58th minute for Kelly to make the breakthrough with her fourth goal of the season.
Morgan then headed home what proved the victory clincher eight minutes later, the on-loan Manchester City full-back notching her first Everton goal.
In what was a well-contested game, Everton started brightly but, in the opening spell, midfielder Inessa Kaagman shot wide of the far post, before a short pass by striker Kelly just evaded the lunging foot of captain Lucy Graham.
Kelly went close in 19th minute, latching on to a Hannah Cain knockdown but seeing her 15-yard drive saved just inside the far post by diving goalkeeper Megan Walsh.
The first moment of danger from the visitors arrived in the 26th minute, but midfielder Danni Bowman’s 25-yard free-kick was expertly tipped over the bar by keeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela.
Everton were soon back on the offensive, moving the ball well and stretching the Reading defence but were unable to make the breakthrough on several occasions when they got the ball criss-crossing the penalty area.
Korpela was seeing little of the action, but just before half-time she had to make her second good save as she dived to block a Kayleigh Green shot.
The Blues started the second half at real pace and almost scored when Cain had a 15-yard rising drive pushed over the bar by Walsh.
The Brighton goal had another close call when Simone Magill beat the outrushing Walsh to a through-ball, but the striker’s 20-yard shot went just wide.
The opening goal finally arrived when Kelly, after a good move down the left flank, drilled a low, narrow-angled shot inside the far post.
Kelly then crossed for Kaagman to see a spectacular volley brilliantly saved by Walsh – but from the resulting corner, taken by Kaagman, Morgan rose to plan her header just under the Brighton bar.
As the visitors looked to force their way back into the game they gave Kirk’s team a scare in the 76th minute, the impressive Lea le Garrec landing a long-range effort on top of the bar.
But Everton played out the rest of the game calmly to claim a victory that keeps them in the top half of the WSL table.
Post by Everton News. on Oct 28, 2019 21:51:50 GMT
Everton manager Willie Kirk was delighted with the performance as well as the result after seeing his team deservedly chalk up a third win of the Super League season with a 2-0 home success over Brighton.
Second-half goals by Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan gave the Blues a hard-earned victory in Southport on Sunday to keep themselves in the top half of the table.
“It was a good way to bounce back after a couple of narrow defeats,” said Kirk. “We’d worked hard on our game plan and it was very pleasing to come off the park with what I thought were three well-deserved points.
“We missed a number of chances in the first half and tried to fix a couple of things at half-time – but then we missed our first chance of the second half and I’m thinking, Iis this going to backfire on us?’
“The goals came as a relief, but they were both good goals – and just as pleasing as them was another clean sheet.
“All three of our wins have been accompanied by clean sheets, which the team strive so hard for and take great pride in.”
Kelly’s goal was something of a landmark as she had never before scored more than three in a season. But Kirk believes the England international is proving her credentials this term.
“Chloe’s got everything,” he added. “Pace, power, two good feet, the ability to score spectacular goals or toe pokes. She’s still got parts of her game she needs to work on, but what she’s giving us right now is very special.”
Morgan’s goal, a header from Inessa Kaagman’s corner, was her first in Everton colours after signing on loan from Manchester City in the summer.
“I’m delighted for Esme,” said Kirk. “She’s such a nice girl, such a hard worker, and I’m equally delighted for the staff who work on set pieces – we’ve conceded goals from a few of those this season, but that was the first we’ve scored ourselves and everybody was really buzzing when Esme’s header went in.”
Next up for Kirk’s team is a Continental Cup meeting with Manchester United next weekend, followed by a big local derby against Liverpool at Anfield.
“The Man United game is a big one for us,” said Kirk. “We really want to qualify out of the group and we probably need to win the game to keep alive our hopes of finishing in the top two.
“As for going to Anfield to take on Liverpool, we’ll no doubt be having one or two little thoughts about that even though our focus this week has to be on Man United.
“Playing at Anfield will be a huge spectacle, one we’ll definitely play our part in and hopefully in front of a huge crowd.
“It will give our players the chance to shine in front of the TV cameras. too, so it’s an occasion we’ll really be looking forward to.”