By Sam Stone

18th Oct, 2022 | 10:10pm

Everton Women robbed by poor officiating in Chelsea defeat

We’re delighted to welcome Peter MacFarlane, a member of the Everton Women Official Supporters Club, as our exclusive Everton Women expert.

Everton Women expert Peter MacFarlane was left in disbelief by the referee in the Toffees’ 3-1 WSL defeat to the hands of reigning champions Chelsea.

Pernille Harder netted twice for Emma Hayes’ side on Sunday (16 October) to propel them back into the top three of the league standings.

MacFarlane feels the result didn’t tell the whole tale with the official awarding a dubious 59th-minute penalty the turning point in the game.

He exclusively told Goodison News: “A disappointing result but a result which doesn’t tell the full story. Normally a 3-1 home defeat would be cause for concern, but the fact that Everton went toe-to-toe with the reigning champions and matched them for large parts of the game shows just how much we are improving under Brian Sorensen.”

“Last season we absolutely capitulated in the opening half an hour, Chelsea just looked a class above us, but Sunday’s performance couldn’t have been any different. After Chelsea took the lead through Pernille Harder on 37 minutes, the players rallied, didn’t let their heads drop, and deservedly scored an equaliser 8 minutes into the second half.”

“A fantastic floated delivery from Hanna Bennison to the back post saw the excellent Megan Finnigan rise above and overpower Millie Bright to nod down to Gabby George, whose effort was saved but the rebound squirmed in off Chelsea defender Kadeisha Buchanan.”

“It was no more than Everton deserved, in fact from that moment Everton were in the ascendency, that was until the referee stepped in to award Chelsea a penalty for one of the most blatant dives you will see all season.”

“Chelsea had played the ball around well on the edge of the area before a lovely touch from Harder tried to play in Guro Reiten. Courtney Brosnan rushed out to narrow the angle but pulled out as Reiten was getting there first, Reiten got a touch on the ball and threw herself dramatically to the ground, expecting contact that never came close to happening, and the referee fell for it hook, line and sinker. The penalty to Chelsea was scored by Harder.”

“The fact that Chelsea felt the need to cheat their way into a lead shows just how well Everton had played, and just how desperate Chelsea were. Also, the fact that the referee gave the penalty is another example of just how poor the officiating has been this season. In our last home game against Leicester, referee (former Liverpool player and captain) Cheryl Foster was, at best, incompetent, at worst, totally biased.”

“Thankfully her decisions didn’t cost us in the end, but this time around refereeing incompetence took the wind out of our sails and ultimately had a huge impact on the outcome of the game. The players carried on battling, even after another shocking refereeing decision not to even book Lauren James for dangerously hacking down Katrine Veje from behind.”

Everton will now be looking to bounce back after their weekend disappointment against Aston Villa on Saturday (22 October).

The Toffees will soon be sick of the sight of Villa as they face them again four days later in their opening FA Cup fixture on Wednesday evening (26 October).