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Women's report: Albion come back to draw with Everton

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A late Aileen Whelan goal helped secure a 2-2 draw for Hope Powell's side.

By Jake Ketley • 18 October 2020

By Simon Davies
Aillen Whelan and Denise O'Sullivan celebrate Albion's equaliser.

Albion became the first team to take points off Everton in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League after drawing 2-2 at Walton Hall Park on Sunday.

An early own goal from Rikke Sevecke following a dangerous cross from Inessa Kaagman gave Albion an early lead.

But strikes from Isobel Christiensen and Valerie Gauvin had set Everton up for another three points until Aileen Whelan poked home from close range to move Albion’s points tally onto five.

What happened…

Hope Powell made two changes for the clash on Merseyside, with Megan Connolly and Lee Geum-min reverting to the starting line-up in place of Rebekah Stott and Rianna Jarrett. Ellie Brazil was also named in a matchday squad for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury last November.

With South Korean Lee leading the line, former Everton midfielder Inessa Kaagman was tasked to support from midfield.

Kaagman almost found a breakthrough in the opening five minutes, but she didn’t time her run from Denise O’Sullivan’s pass and the linesman raised his flag.

The Netherlands international however was keen to make a good impression against her former club, and just before the ten-minute mark, Albion reaped the rewards.

Her dangerous, whipped free-kick from wide on the left was flicked off the head of Rikke Sevecke, who inadvertently directed the ball past Sandy MacIver.

By Simon Davies
Denise O'Sullivan chases a through ball.

Albion threatened to score a second moments later, but this time Maya Le Tissier’s close-range drive was turned around the post by MacIvor.

Everton started knocking at the Albion door, and Powell’s side were let off after the assistant referee adjudged the ball to have crossed the line for a throw-in in the build up to Valerie Gauvin sliding the ball past Megan Walsh.

But just moments later, the hosts were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, which Christiansen curled home, though the ball deflected off the top of the wall.

Both sides continued to probe, but the game was level at half-time.

Everton were looking to keep up their run of winning every league match so far this season, so it was no surprise to see them start the second half firing.

Gauvin once again gave the defence trouble by finding space in the penalty area and firing a shot over the bar.

Then on the hour mark, Danielle Turner curled a left-footed free-kick narrowly past the post.

With the match becoming an end-to end affair, the hosts made one of their chances pay after 70 minutes.

By Simon Davies
Inessa Kaagman stands over a free-kick.

Set-piece specialist Christiansen hit a driven corner in from the right and found the head of Gauvin who netted her third goal of the season for the Toffees.

Powell’s side never gave up and found an equaliser with 12 minutes to go when Fliss Gibbons’s low cross was diverted into the net by Whelan.

Everton hit the woodwork in the closing stages through Raso, but Albion bring a deserved point back from their travels.

Familiar foe…

Inessa Kaagman swapped Merseyside for Sussex in the summer and spoke of her excitement to play her former club in the build up to the match.

She certainly made a good impression against her former employers with her industrious play throughout and her big contribution to the opening goal of the game. 

By Simon Davies
Maya Le Tissier and Denise O'Sullivan celebrate Albion's opening goal.

The line-up…

Walsh (GK); Le Tissier, Kerkdijk, Bowman, Gibbons; Connolly, Kaagman, O’Sullivan; Green, Lee (Jarrett 65), Whelan.

Subs not used: Fiskerstrand, Heroum, Stott, Brazil, Barton, Simpkins.

Next up…

Powell’s side now have a 17-day gap until their next game against Charlton Athletic in the Continental Tyres League Cup, with their next WSL action on the 8th November against Aston Villa.

 

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