Sunday 23 April 2017

Chance leaves it late to seal share of spoils for Everton

Six-goal thriller ends 3-3 in FA WSL Spring Series clash against Doncaster Rovers Belles

FA WSL 2 match
14:00, Sunday 23 April 2017
Keepmoat Stadium

Doncaster Rovers Belles Goal Scorers: Sweetman - Kirk 37',47', LITTLE 74'

Everton Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Walker 20', Magill 3', Chance 86'

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk bagged a double as Doncaster Rovers Belles came from behind to earn a share of the spoils in an enthralling FA WSL Spring Series encounter with Everton at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Goals inside the first 20 minutes from Georgia Brougham and Claudia Walker put visitors Everton in control as the Belles struggled to gain any sort of foothold in the match.

Brougham bundled home a corner in scrappy fashion within the first three minutes before a slick team move allowed Walker to roll into an empty net after rounding Nicky Davies.

Emma Coates’ side needed a spark and Christie Murray provided it before the break, nutmegging two players before unleashing an effort that hit both posts before Sweetman-Kirk hammered home the rebound.

It was all square within minutes of the break, goal scorer Brougham brought down Sweetman-Kirk in the area and the striker picked herself up to fire home the leveller.

The comeback looked to be complete when captain Leandra Little thumped a header home from a corner but Everton substitute Olivia Chance had other ideas, smashing home a screamer from outside the area with five minutes to go.

And it was Everton who nearly nicked it, defender Gabby George firing inches over the bar deep into stoppage time but it ended honours even.

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Maz Pacheco, Doncaster defender:

“For us, we started so slowly and it wasn’t the start we wanted. We were aiming for a comeback from Watford on Thursday night but in the first half an hour we just didn’t show it.

“We needed to step up and we did but it wasn’t good enough for us in the end, we went 2-0 and we had to comeback. We did that but we’ve let them back into it when we were winning, we couldn’t hold on when we needed to and we need to improve that on Thursday.

“It was a slow start, maybe Thursday night contributed but we’re here to win, we’re here to make a statement because we want to get promoted when the full season comes around. In terms of going back to last year, we couldn’t come back when 1-0 down but we want to win games from the start.”

Olivia Chance, Everton forward:

“Whenever you come onto the field you want to make a positive impact so it was nice to come on and help the team secure a point.

“We were up 2-0 and you’d rather go home with one point rather than none, we’d have liked a win but unfortunately we could only get the draw.

“When you think of being 2-0 up, it’s two points lost but then when you’re losing with 10 minutes to go you’d take a point at that part of the game, so it’s a mixed feeling to be honest.

“The girls are working hard, when you go behind you have to keep the work rate up and forget the mistakes, we nearly got the win for the girls at the end but it wasn’t to be. We can go home relatively happy but there’s always things to improve on.”

Doncaster Belles 3

Sweetman-Kirk 37 & 47 (pen), Little 74

Everton 3

Brougham 3, Walker 20, Chance 85

Doncaster Belles (4-2-3-1): Nicola Davies; Sophie Barker, Leandra Little, Samantha Tierney, Mayumi Pacheco; Kasia Lipka, Emily Simpkins; Christie Murray, Marta Mathews, Kirsty Hanson; Courtney Sweetman-Kirk

Substitutes: Rebecca Rayner for Hanson 58, Sophie Walton for Mathews 65

Substitutes not used: Beth Davies, Rachel Newborough, Yasmin Mosby

Bookings: Barker 70

Red Cards: None

Everton (3-5-2): Kirstie Levell; Megan Finnigan, Georgia Brougham, Gabby George; Vicky Jones, Michelle Hinnigan, Kelly Jones, Mollie Green, Danielle Turner; Simone Magill, Claudia Walker

Substitutes: Faye Bryson for V. Jones 59, Olivia Chance for Green 72

Substitutes not used: Jen Myler, Lauren Davies, Emily Hollinshead, Amber Stobbs

Bookings: Green 72

Red Cards:

Referee: Gareth Rhodes

Attendance: 482