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Women's Football News
Chelsea 1 (Ward 80)
Everton 4 (Hinnigan 12, Duggan 18,72,78)
Toni Duggan scored a hat-trick as Everton went into the mid-season break in third place in the FA WSL table following a thumping victory over Chelsea.
It was the perfect response to their midweek local derby defeat to Liverpool by the same scoreline but Chelsea will be disappointed by their performance and the manner of the goals conceded.
Chelsea did start the game brightly and a well struck shot by Danielle Buet brought out a good save from Lizzie Durack in the Everton goal, who dived full length to palm the ball away.
However there was a sign of things to come as Nikita Parris broke down the left and her low cross picked out Duggan whose shot was blocked on the line by Buet. Parris tried her luck with an effort which was turned over the bar by Carly Telford and from the resulting corner, Parris rose highest and her downward header was again cleared off the line by Buet.
A minute later, though, Everton were ahead. Buet was dispossessed by Jody Handley and found Duggan, whose shot was blocked. The ball ran to Parris who miscued her shot across goal but Michelle Hinnigan was on hand to turn the ball into the net from close range.
The second goal was not long in coming and Parris was again involved, sliding an inch perfect pass into the path of Duggan who drove in a powerful left foot shot from just outside the area, giving Telford no chance.
Chelsea tried to respond and went close as Helen Ward found space in the area and her low cross picked out Eniola Aluko whose shot was blocked by Amy Kane. Buet took the resulting corner and Dunia Susi powered a header goalwards but Vicky Jones was well placed to clear.
Katie Holtham passed up a good opportunity when she sent a free header into the side netting following a Buet free kick and a good pass from Ester released Ward who beat the oncoming Durack to the ball but her shot was off target.
Everton grew strong again as the half came to a close; Parris volleyed over following a good run and cross from the lively Hinnigan and then a good passing move involving four different players ended with Duggan's shot being saved by Telford.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes made a double substitution during the half time interval and although they had more possession after the break, they could not find a way through an Everton defence in which Lindsay Johnson was having a fine match.
Aluko, to her credit, was working very hard to try and spark things for her side and she went very close with a snap shot from Drew Spence's pass which flashed just past the post.
Five minutes later though, Everton put the game beyond doubt following another catastrophic piece of defending. After receiving the ball from Telford, Ester dallied on the ball inside her own area and Duggan nipped in to pinch it off her and guide the ball in to put her side three goals ahead.
Chelsea were almost gifted a goal at the other end when Jill Scott left a back pass short and Kate Longhurst stole in but her shot was saved by Durack. Everton went immediately on the attack and Scott atoned for her error moments earlier by making a driving run into the area where she was brought down by Kylie Davies. A penalty was awarded and Duggan confidently finished from the spot for the first hat-trick in the WSL this season.
Two minutes later, Chelsea salvaged some pride by pulling a goal back when, for the third time in the match, a player lost possession near her own goal. This time the culprit was Alex Greenwood - who otherwise had a good match - losing out to Aluko, who slipped the ball out to the left where Helen Bleazard's low cross was tucked home by Ward.
Spence had a shot saved by Durack but Everton almost added a fifth late on when Handley fired just over after she had exchanged passes with Duggan, who shortly afterwards left the pitch clutching the match ball after rounding off a superb first half to her season.
Chelsea: Carly Telford, Dunia Susi (sub Drew Spence 45mins), Olina Vidarsdottir (sub Helen Bleazard 57mins), Kylie Davies, Ester Dos Santos, Katie Holtham, Hannah Blundell, Danielle Buet, Eniola Aluko, Helen Ward, Sofia Jakobsson (sub Kate Longhurst 45mins). Subs not used: Jessica Myers, Sophie Ingle, Laura Coombs, Edda Gardarsdottir.
Everton: Lizzie Durack, Brooke Chaplen (sub Paige Williams 82mins), Vicky Jones, Amy Kane, Alex Greenwood, Lindsay Johnson, Jody Handley, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan (sub Kelly Jones 69mins), Nikita Parris (sub Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah 66mins). Subs not used: Rachel Brown-Finnis, Julie Nelson, Lucy Whipp, Simone Magill.
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