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Everton beat Birmingham for first win of WSL season


Club record signing Hanna Bennison helped Everton earn their first victory of the Women’s Super League season with an excellent second-half goal against Birmingham City.

The 18-year-old Swede traded passes with Toni Duggan before making it 2-1 with her first goal in English football.

Leonie Maier had put Everton ahead early on before Jade Pennock levelled.

Bennison restored Everton’s lead before Rikke Sevecke completed the win.

Victory lifts Everton off the foot of the WSL table, with Birmingham City slipping to bottom after suffering a third successive defeat.

As a side that recruited heavily in the summer and whose manager Willie Kirk talked of their Champions League ambitions before the start of the campaign, three points at Walton Hall Park against another early struggler were a must after suffering back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Chelsea.

Maier, one of the key personnel brought in by Kirk for 2021-22, marked her Everton debut by scoring not only her first goal for the club, but the Toffees’ first of the season.

Birmingham remained bright despite going an early goal down and were deservedly level at half-time thanks to Pennock’s excellently taken leveller just after the half-hour mark.

While Grace Clinton wasted a free header immediately after the break, the hosts pressed incessantly in search of a second.

It was fitting that Bennison – a player whose arrival signalled Everton’s intent to challenge the established powers Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal – came off the bench to score their second.

The teenager’s vision and movement to link up with Duggan before beating Emily Ramsey with an exquisite finish confirmed why she has been so highly rated.

Sevecke went on to wrap up the convincing win deep in injury, heading home an Izzy Christiansen corner.

Line-ups

Everton Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1MacIver
  • 21MaierSubstituted forSeveckeat 69′minutes
  • 5Bjorn
  • 6George
  • 3Turner
  • 7Dali
  • 8Christiansen
  • 22GalliSubstituted forBennisonat 45′minutes
  • 11Emslie
  • 26ClintonSubstituted forGauvinat 69′minutes
  • 9DugganSubstituted forSørensenat 80′minutesSubstituted forPattinsonat 90+5′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Sevecke
  • 13Gauvin
  • 14Sørensen
  • 18Brosnan
  • 20Finnigan
  • 28Bennison
  • 30Pattinson

B’ham City Women

Formation 4-3-3

  • 21Ramsey
  • 3ScottSubstituted forWhelanat 62′minutes
  • 4Quinn
  • 30Lawley
  • 25Holloway
  • 17Quinn
  • 8Robertson
  • 14Finn
  • 11PennockSubstituted forWhippat 81′minutes
  • 9EwensSubstituted forRyan-Doyleat 65′minutes
  • 7SarriSubstituted forSmithat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Hourihan
  • 12Smith
  • 19Whipp
  • 22Ryan-Doyle
  • 23Whelan

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