Two second half goals from Chloe Kelly and Esme Morgan helped Everton beat a wasteful Brighton & Hove Albion side 2-0 at The Pure Stadium in Southport this afternoon.
Albion manager Hope Powell made four changes from the 3-1 defeat to West Ham United last week but it made little difference as her side again slipped to a loss by a two-goal margin.
In a first half that saw little in the way of goalscoring opportunities, it was Everton that started the brighter of the two sides.
As Brighton & Hove Albion grew into the game, Dani Bowman saw her long range free-kick tipped over the bar by Everton goalkeeper Tinja-Rikka Korpela. The Seagulls also had a chance just before half-time to take the lead through Kayleigh Green. The striker was played through on goal by Ellie Brazil before seeing her shot saved by Korpela.
Everton started the second half on the front foot and came close to taking the lead. Hannah Cain was denied brilliantly by Brighton goalkeeper Megan Walsh who tipped her shot onto the crossbar.
The breakthrough came on 56 minutes through attacker Chloe Kelly. Simone Magill played the ball through to the forward on the edge of the box and the England international was able to cut back onto her right foot and expertly finish.
Everton doubled their lead with 25 minutes to go when defender Esme Morgan headed home after being left unmarked from a corner kick.
Brighton & Hove Albion’s French midfielder Lea Le Garrec almost pulled one back for The Seagulls but she saw her long range effort come back off the crossbar while substitute Ini Umotong had an impact off the bench but missed two chances late on as Albion fell to their third defeat of the season.
The result sees the Seagulls slip to 11th having now conceded 10 goals in their opening five league games. They are still in search of their first league win of the season. Powell’s side face a tough test next Sunday as they host Arsenal in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup.
Everton: Korpela, Morgan, Van Es, George, Turner, Clemaron, Graham, Cain, Kaagman, Kelly, Magill
Subs: Levell, Hinds, Boye-Hlorkah, Hughes, Stringer, Pike, Finnigan
Brighton & Hove Albion: Walsh, Lundorf Skovsen, Williams, Kerkdijk, Gibbons, Le Tissier, Bowman, Le Garrec, Brazil, Green, A. Whelen
Subs: Umotong, Harris, Roe, Barton, Simpkins, Natkiel, Nilden
By Jamie Farrin (@jamiefarrin)