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Everton 1 (Parris 62) Lincoln Ladies 0
Nikita Parris' second half header was enough to earn Everton the points against Lincoln.
In truth, Lincoln had enough opportunities to come away with the win although the first real action of the afternoon did not suggest that would be the case. Eventual match winner Parris seemed set to score in the first minute until some desperate defending halted her.
The visitors came in to the contest second from bottom. But, the fact that they had eliminated league leaders Liverpool on the way to next month's Continental Cup final and recently took a point off Arsenal illustrated their potential, and they again showed enough to suggest their position in the table does not detail their real capabilities.
First, Jess Clarke drew a fine save from Rachel Brown-Finnis before Carla Cantrell shot wide. Then, some sloppy Everton passing presented Cantrell with an open goal, but she sliced her effort just off target.
This was Everton's fifth game of the month and those exertions showed during a lethargic first half display. On the 30-minute mark they were indebted to Vicky Jones, the right back in the right place to intercept when Courtney Sweetman-Kirk seemed ready to pounce.
Lincoln nearly paid for their profligacy as Everton's top scorer Toni Duggan turned well and hit the target, although the effort lacked real power.
At the other end Cantrell did put enough force behind the away team's next attempt, only another fine Brown-Finnis' stop ensuring it was goalless at the interval.
Whatever the half-time message from the hosts' coaching staff, the players responded. Some neat build up by the always dangerous Duggan had already led to Parris shooting over. When another opportunity came her way, she took full advantage to head in Lucy Whipp's cross just after the hour.
The win could have been sealed when Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah arrived at the back post only to see her effort roll agonisingly across goal.
Meaghan Sargeant's volley wide was the closest the visitors came to replying in the closing minutes and the zero beside their name for the fourth consecutive game is an ongoing concern for manager Rick Passmoor.
Everton: Rachel Brown-Finnis, Vicky Jones, Paige Williams, Lucy Whipp (sub Brooke Chaplen 62mins), Alex Greenwood, Billie Murphy, Simone Magill (sub Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah 22mins), Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Michelle Hinnigan, Nikita Parris. Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Lindsay Johnson, Amy Kane, Danielle Turner.
Lincoln Ladies: Karen Bardsley, Lara Fay, Meaghan Sargeant, Sophie Walton, Sophie Bradley, Casey Stoney, Bonnie Horwood (sub Rachel Lee 76mins), Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (sub Lillie Fenlon-Billson 69mins), Carla Cantrell (sub Martha Harris 76mins), Remi Allen, Jess Clarke. Subs not used: Julianna Draycott, Amy Turner, Emily Roberts, Aileen Whelan.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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