Everton suffered their fourth defeat of the season at another sold-out Walton Hall Park on Saturday as Manchester City recorded a narrow 2-1 victory.
The visitors arrived on Merseyside on the back of a five-game winning streak, although they had to work hard to extend that winning streak against Brian Sorensen’s side, who will be sorry not to have picked up at least a point.
Full of confidence, the visiting team started the brightest igGoalkeeper Emily Ramsey was forced into action in the first minute when she made a fantastic save to deny former Toffee Chloe Kelly who drifted unmarked in the penalty area.
The visitors used that early effort to take control and saw plenty of the ball inside the opening ten minutes, but the Blues defended well and limited Gareth Taylor’s side to very few clear-cut chances.
With the visitors struggling to break down Sorensen’s side, Everton were able to force profitable changes in midfield.
One of those led to the home side’s first shot when Aurora Galli dispossessed City’s Yui Hasegawa before making a powerful run at the defense and firing a shot towards goal that deflected off the post.
Just after the half-hour mark, however, the visitors found a breakthrough when Khadija Shaw beat Everton’s offside trap to go one-on-one with Ramsey trying to close the angle. Shaw opted to play Julie Blakstad in support, who slotted the ball into an empty net to put City ahead.
The vocal home support rallied around the Blues but they pushed hard for an immediate response, and that came just eight minutes later when City failed to adequately deal with Elise’s corner Stenevik that allowed Rikke Sevecke to take advantage and head home a deserved equaliser.
With their tails high, the Blues almost completed a quick turnaround just a minute later when Katja Snoeijs hit a sweet half-volley from the edge of the box, but the effort was well saved by the former goalkeeper ‘Everton Sandy MacIver.
At half-time Sorensen shuffled the pack, with Aggie Beever-Jones replacing Karen Holmgaard, but it was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides and again, just as in the first half, Ramsey came on the action soon when it arrived. get down well to stop a low effort from Shaw.
Just two minutes later though the City striker finally got the best of the Everton striker, tapping home Laura Coombs’ initial effort which hit the post as Shaw restored the lead for visitors.
The game then opened up with both teams trading chances, but it was City who came closest to extending their lead, with a heroic goal-line block from Sevecke denying Coombs a second of the party
With just over 25 minutes remaining, Sorensen made further changes as Gio and Clare Wheeler were brought on for Galli and Hanna Bennison.
His impact on the team was almost instant as some good play saw the ball break out to Beever-Jones who ran down the left before scoring and firing a powerful effort towards goal which was blocked in the corner
Press hard to get the draw and it is approaching the final ten minutes of the gameSorensen did a end attacking change to Leonie Maier replaced Elise Stenevik.
But ddespite growing domestic pressure, the the visitors managed to hold on theirs slim lead i the blues they were forced to move away the close contest with empty hands.