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Everton 5 (Magill 10, Boye-Hlorkah 44, K.Jones 62, Johnson 74, King 90) Oxford Utd 3 (Nutman 4, Hines 54,74)
Everton won their final league fixture of the season 5-3 against Oxford United at the Select Security Stadium.
The game will be remembered as the last appearance of Lindsay Johnson's twelve year career with the Blue Girls and it was only fitting that she scored in the end-to-end encounter.
Johnson announced her retirement in the hours prior to kick off and the Everton defender twice went close before she marked her final bow with a goodbye goal pouncing on a loose ball to thump into the top corner from twelve yards late on.
The match's first chance of note fell to Everton winger Danielle Turner when she broke free of the Oxford defence in the second minute, but she could only manage to drag her shot wide of the visitor's goal.
Katherine Nutman gave the away side the lead after five minutes when her powerful shot from range bobbled over the low dive of Kirstie Levell. The Blue Girls were soon level through Simone Magill when she turned in Turner's driven cross.
Everton continued to apply pressure following their equaliser with Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah dragging a shot wide midway through the half and she went close again minutes later. Paige Williams sent a long ball forward into the Oxford penalty area and after a clash with U's goalkeeper Demi Lambourne, Boye-Hlorkah's overhead kick rolled inches wide of the target.
Everton went ahead shortly before half time through Boye-Hlorkah, who emphatically fired in from inside the penalty area after Lambourne's fine save had prevented Lindsay Johnson from scoring on her final appearance for the Blue Girls.
Within a minute of the restart, Johnson again went close latching onto Boye-Hlorkah's cutback but she could only turn it past the post. Kayleigh Hines, who had earlier spurned a chance to draw her side level, made amends for her first half miss by equalising for Oxford shortly after the break. The U's midfielder volleyed Sahara Osborne-Ricketts' corner past Levell, who was unable to prevent the visitors getting back on level terms.
The second half was proving to be an end-to-end affair and Michelle Hinnigan's through ball sent Turner clear of the Oxford defence, however she could only pull her effort wide.
Everton were enjoying a spell of pressure and they were rewarded with their third goal of the afternoon when Kelly Jones hammered in Emily Hollinshead's cut back from the edge of the area. However, the away side again dragged themselves level just after the hour mark as Hines, who was proving to be a particular menace from set pieces, headed in an Osborne-Ricketts corner.
Then as the fixture entered the final quarter, Johnson came to the fore to produce a fairytale finish to her career, smashing in the ball on the half volley to sign off in style.
The three points were sealed in added time as Jess King poked the ball home into an empty net from Johnson's assist, but it was to be the Lindsay Johnson show as she ended her career in style.
Everton: Kirstie Levell, Lindsay Johnson, Ellie Stewart, Gabby George, Paige Williams, Kelly Jones, Michelle Hinnigan, Jess King, Simone Magill (sub Emily Hollinshead 45mins), Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Danielle Turner. Subs not used: Megan Walsh, Vicky Jones, Danielle Lea, Claudia Walker.
Oxford Utd: Demi Lambourne (sub Hannah Cox 79mins), Chloe Bruce, Rosie Lane, Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, Madison Lee, Danielle Scanlon (sub Sophie Baker 63mins), Kat Nutman, Kayleigh Hines, Destiney Toussaint (sub Lindsay Pinker 72mins), Holly Pickett, Lauren Allison.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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