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Everton 3 (Duggan 13, Hinnigan 52, Boye-Hlorkah 84) Chelsea 2 (Spence 54, Muya 81)
Everton fought hard to take all three points in their encounter with Chelsea.
A pulsating contest saw Everton surrender a two-goal second half lead before finally earning the points thanks to substitute Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah's tap in six minutes from the end.
Both sides had suffered three consecutive defeats going in to the contest, yet it was Everton who looked determined to return to winning ways. Chelsea were instantly pinned back as the dangerous hosts twice went close through the lively Duggan and Hinnigan.
The home team's wait for an opener wasn't long. Fine play by Jody Handley saw her pick out Toni Duggan, who stylishly sidefooted in.
With the deadlock broken the frantic nature of the contest slowed down. Against the run of play Chelsea almost found a leveller when Dunia Susi drove a shot towards the near post, which Rachel Brown-Finnis pushed over.
Chelsea needed a response after the turnaround and Susi looked set to produce an equaliser following a goalmouth scramble but only a fine clearance by Brooke Chaplen denied her.
Instead the second goal of the contest arrived at the other end on 53 minutes. Duggan and Handley were again involved, with Michelle Hinnigan eventually forcing the ball over the line.
The two goal advantage lasted just 60 seconds. Brown-Finnis dropped the ball from a corner and - despite appeals for a foul - Drew Spence bundled it in to give the visitors hope.
From seemingly being in control, Everton looked nervous and they were thankful to defender Vicky Jones' awareness as she stretched out a boot on the line to prevent a Jodie Brett effort from going in.
But Chelsea managed to grab an equaliser with just nine minutes left on the clock. Katie Holtham's header down was parried by Brown-Finnis and substitute Karin Muya capitalised.
But the Everton response was superb. Duggan and Jill Scott combined to tee up Handley who saw her shot pushed away by Marie Hourihan, but Boye-Hlorkah was in the right place to calmly win the game.
Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis, Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood, Amy Kane, Lindsay Johnson, Brooke Chaplen, Jody Handley, Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan, Kelly Jones (sub Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah 24mins). Subs not used: Lucy Whipp, Simone Magill.
Chelsea: Marie Hourihan, Danielle Buet, Sophie Ingle, Drew Spence, Kylie Davies (sub Hannah Blundell 45mins), Katie Holtham, Dunia Susi, Laura Coombs (sub Karin Muya 72mins), Eniola Aluko, Helen Ward, Jodie Brett (sub Rosella Ayane 80mins). Subs not used: Carly Telford, Ester Dos Santos, Helen Bleazard, Sofia Jakobsson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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