Match Reports

Report: Whelan's sweet strike seals Toffees victory

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Aileen Whelan scored a superb first-half goal to earn Albion one of their best wins of the season in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

By Bruce Talbot • 02 February 2020

By Kyle Hemsley
Albion's players celebrate Aileen Whelan's opener.
  • Albion claim third WSL win of the season thanks to Aileen Whelan’s goal
  • Striker’s fourth league goal of the campaign is enough against fifth-placed Everton
  • Seagulls stay ninth and stretch unbeaten home league run to four games
  • Hope Powell’s team are back in action next Sunday against Birmingham City

Whelan’s exquisite first-half finish earned Hope Powell’s team a precious three points against fifth-placed Everton and it was no more than they deserved.

Albion could have scored three or four goals in a dominant first-half performance and, although Everton improved in the second period, the hosts defended diligently to protect their advantage.

By Kyle Hemsley
Kayleigh Green looks for options in the penalty area.

Albion were on the front foot from the start and had a great chance inside the first minute. They worked a good move down the left and space opened up for Whelan on the edge of the box but her shot was too close to Everton keeper Sandy MacIver.

Another good opportunity came on ten minutes. A terrific run and cross by Kayleigh Green found Ini Umotong but her back-heel from a yard out went the wrong side of the post.

By Kyle Hemsley
Aileen Whelan is congratulated by Kirsty Barton after giving Albion the lead.

Albion continued to press. In the 20th minute skipper Dani Bowman’s free kick was helped on  to Danique Kerkdijk in space and her low pass across the face of goal only just eluded Whelan and Megan Connolly.

Amanda Nilden was next to go close after MacIver failed to catch Fliss Gibbons’ deep cross from the left. Nilden volleyed goalwards but the goalkeeper recovered to make the save.

Albion’s pressure finally saw its reward in the 40th minute. Nilden knocked the ball into space and Whelan fired into the top corner with her right foot, giving MacIver no chance.

By Kyle Hemsley
Amanda Nilden shields the ball from Danielle Turner.

Everton had been second-best in the first half but they began to pose more of a threat, without testing Megan Walsh in the Albion goal.

Albion began to increasingly rely on the counter-attack as the visitors enjoyed more possession and Umotong was booked on the hour for a foul on Taylor Hinds before being replaced by Kate Natkiel.

By Kyle Hemsley
Danique Kerkdijk went close with a shot on the angle.

Walsh was finally tested with 16 minutes to go when substitute Hannah Cain broke into the box on the left but shot straight at the Albion keeper. Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah then unleashed a powerful shot which took a deflection past the far post.

As the visitors looked for an equaliser, Chloe Kelly struck the ball from outside the box which didn’t clear Walsh’s goal by much. Everton ramped up the pressure in the closing stages but Albion held firm for a win that keeps them moving in the right direction.

ALBION: Walsh, Barton, Kerkdijk, Le Tissier, Gibbons; Connolly, Bowman, Nilden, Green (Simpkins 90); Whelan, Umotong (Natkiel 63).

SUBS NOT USED: Fiskerstrand, Roe, Lundorf, Williams, Bennink.