Sunday 12 February 2017

In-form Magill helps Everton start Spring Series in style

Ini Umotong grabs a late goal for Oxford United but the Toffees hold on to triumph 2-1

FA WSL 2 match
14:00, Sunday 12 February 2017
Abingdon United FC

Oxford United Women Goal Scorers: Umotong 89'

Everton Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Magill 12', Jones 48'

Simone Magill hit the goal trail once more to help deliver Everton a 2-1 victory over Oxford United in their FA WSL Spring Series opener at Abingdon United’s Northcourt Road.

Twice on target in a thumping 8-1 triumph over Brighouse Town in the SSE Women’s FA Cup last time out, the livewire forward continued her rich vein of form as the Toffees won more comfortably than the score-line suggests.

A constant threat in and around the penalty area, she needed just 13 minutes to open the scoring, timing her arrival to perfection to turn in an incisive cross from Emily Hollinshead from close range.

The more cohesive team throughout, Everton deservedly doubled their lead three minutes into the second half, Kelly Jones firing into an unprotected net after being set up by Claudia Walker’s persistence.

Magill might have registered a hat-trick had she not been denied on two occasions by busy U’s keeper Demi Lambourne, while Hollinshead blazed over when presented with a clear sight of goal.

An isolated figure for much of the game, last season’s top scorer in WSL 2 Ini Umotong ploughed a lonely furrow up front for the U’s but was finally rewarded for her selfless graft when running through to beat Toffees keeper Kirstie Levell on 88 minutes.

Everton’s opening goalscorer Simone Magill said:

“It’s good to be back playing and getting among the goals. I was averaging a goal a game last season and going really well, but then got injured and only played half the matches.

“I’ve worked hard to get back fit and that is paying off now.”

“I couldn’t do it without the others. We like to get the ball down and play football on the deck and, without others to give me the service, I wouldn’t be scoring so many.

“It’s a real team effort and we’ve made a good start to the season. We’re playing some nice stuff and, hopefully, that will continue for the rest of this Spring Series.”

Oxford captain Lauren Haynes said:

“Ini Umotong’s goal changed the game – but it came just a bit too late for us.

“Ini did great to go through, round the keeper and score and, had there been another five minutes or so, we might have got back level.

“But we didn’t really get the ball to her enough and left ourselves with too much to do.

“It was disappointing to concede early in both halves, but we re-assessed at half-time and I felt we controlled them a bit better after the break.

“It is a privilege to be voted captain and I’m up for the challenge. Hopefully, we are building a side that can put this club where it deserves to be this season.”

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Oxford United 1

Umotong 88

Everton 2

Magill 13, Jones K 48

Oxford United (4-5-1): Demi Lambourne; Charlie Deeley, Rosie Lane, Riva Casley, Jess Frampton; Holly Pickett, Ellie Noble, Lauren Haynes, Georgia Timms, Ella Franklin-Fraiture; Ini Umotong.

Substitutes: Emily Donovan for Timms (68), Sophie Baker for Pickett (73)

Substitutes not used: Lucy Thomas.

Bookings: None

Red cards: None

Everton (4-5-1): Kirstie Levell; Vicky Jones, Georgia Brougham, Gabby George, Danielle Turner; Claudia Walker, Megan Finnigan, Michelle Hinnigan, Kelly Jones, Emily Hollinshead; Simone Magill.

Substitutes: Amber Stobbs for Hollinshead (65), Olivia Chance for George (70), Faye Bryson for V Jones (74)

Substitutes not used: None

Bookings: Bryson 80

Red cards: None

Referee: Kevin Howick

Attendance: 243