Goals from Mollie Green, Michelle Hinnigan and Claudia Walker were enough for Everton as they romped to a victory over the Bees at the Hive, the Blue Girls a class above all year, the WSL 2 Spring Series honours going with them back to Widnes.
Rattling the woodwork
Although Everton started the brighter of the two the first cast-iron chance fell to the hosts five minutes in as Emma Beckett’s whipped free kick cannoned the underside of the crossbar before flying into the cluttered six-yard box. The better team in terms of moving the ball around and getting forward in numbers, Everton struggled with a killer final ball in the opening stages, a ball in at the first corner an easy claim for Sophie Harris.
The home ‘keeper was called into action again just after the quarter hour when Aileen Whelan was allowed to slip in behind, Harris out to smother the ball just in time. The Blue Girls just too slick for the hosts, Simone Magill played through seconds later, a scant fingertip enough to push the ball for a corner. The nervous moments continued for the Bees at the corner, Harris and her defence under heavy threat as the second ball flew across the box, the teams setting up for another corner moments later.
Blue Girls open the scoring
Snappy play saw blue shirts getting forward once more, the players able to find each other with ease as they pinged the ball around, the eventual shot scuffed and straight into Harris’ waiting arms. The keeper wrong footed just before the half hour when her defence failed to clear and Mollie Green was allowed a sluggish shot from outside the box that trickled over the line.
Still unable to get a strong footing in the match there was little the Bees could do as Everton continued to attack freely, Harris rooted as Michelle Hinnigan’s angled header curler into the far side of the net.
A handful of chances came for both as the half drew to a close, neither clinical enough to make them count, the Blue Girls with a well-deserved lead at the break.
Walker at the double
The match held the same rhythm after the break, the hosts unable to deal with their opposition, the Toffees consistently looking dangerous in attack, Harris and her backline kept busy as Kirstie Levell remained a spectator. Another dangerous attack lead to the third goal, substitute Claudia Walker brought down in the box and happy to bury her penalty in the to the bottom left corner, a touch from Harris not enough to stop the bullet penalty.
A late drive from the Bees saw Andy Spence ask more of his team, the hosts suddenly frantic for something, the away backline begining to sag but it was all too late for the well-beaten team. The match wrapped up in stoppage time with a peach from Walker, her curler the last kick of the game as it wrapped across the box and into the top corner. Spring Series honours convincingly claimed by the Blue Girls, the only real blemish on their record for the year a loss to Millwall.