Everton Women expert reflects on 'bitter blow' amid bruising run of defeats
We’re delighted to welcome Peter MacFarlane, member of the Everton Women Official Supporters Club, as our exclusive Everton Women expert.
Ahead of the first Everton Women game for over three weeks our resident expert Peter MacFarlane provided a run down of recent rough results.
A punishing four-defeat sequence put paid to much of the positive feeling that had been built up over the previous weeks, and ended any hope of silverware, but provided a memorable moment at Old Trafford.
It was no coincidence that every defeat came at the hands of some of the biggest sides in the country, but interim manager Chris Roberts would still have been disappointed, as his tenure comes to an end.
Speaking exclusively to Goodison News MacFarlane said: “Coming off the back of three consecutive wins against Aston Villa, Charlton and Leicester, Everton faced a tough run of fixtures which ultimately we just couldn’t compete with.
“Chelsea came to Walton Hall Park (16 March) with a spring in their step and scored three early goals to put the game to bed before half time, but the players showed so much heart in the second half to keep fighting and trying to play.
“Ultimately Chelsea are just a level above at the moment, and it’s no surprise to see them battling it out with Arsenal for the WSL title.
“Two 4-0 defeats to Manchester City followed (20 and 23 March), which also included us getting knocked out of the FA Cup at the quarter final stage.
“That was a bitter blow for a team who are desperate for some kind of positivity after such a tough season, which promised so much but has ultimately been a disappointment.
“Finally, we travelled to Old Trafford, which was a fantastic occasion for everyone involved, with an estimated 28,000 fans in attendance.
“An unbelievable start saw us take the lead inside the opening three minutes, as Kenza Dali skipped through the Manchester United midfield before playing a delightful through ball to Claire Emslie.
“Emslie beat the offside trap down the right hand side and carried on into the area, before rifling her shot expertly into the far bottom corner to silence the home fans and create absolute bedlam in the small allocated away end.
“The players fought admirably but Manchester United managed to get their equaliser through Alessia Russo before the break, before a Katie Zelem penalty just after half time turned the game, and the atmosphere in their favour.
“The players battled admirably but a second goal for Russo in the 84th minute put paid to any hope of us getting anything from the game.”
Although safe from relegation, the season has not produced what anyone would have hoped for at the start.
Poor results led to the departure of Jean-Luc Vasseur and the turmoil wrong-footed the squad, but Chris Roberts had steadied the ship heading into a really tough run.
To lose heavily in every game was far the worst-case scenario, and for many the end of the season and a chance to regroup under incoming permanent manager Brian Sorenson can’t come soon enough.
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