20 February 2013

Ladies Hammer City

Jody Handley and Toni Duggan

Everton put five goals past Man City in their latest pre-season friendly.

Everton Ladies continued to build momentum towards next month’s season opener by swatting aside Manchester City in their latest pre-season friendly.

Braces from striker Toni Duggan and Jody Handley plus a second half strike from Michelle Hinnigan saw the Blues defeat the Premier League National side 5-0.

Everton began with a near-full strength side against the Citizens and flew into a two goal lead inside 20 minutes.

First, lone striker Duggan was picked out in the box and she showed excellent close control to find the space she needed to curl an effort beyond the City keeper.

Minutes later it was two, Jill Scott stealing possession in midfield before playing in Handley who calmly slotted home.

The goals continued to flow in the first half and it was four by the break, as good build up play across the midfield saw the ball worked to Handley on the right. Her cross drifted beyond her intended target but flew over the head of the keeper and nestled into the back of the net.

Then Duggan, industrious throughout, latched on to a long ball from Rachel Brown and coolly lobbed the City custodian from a narrow angle.

After the interval, Scott’s cleverly-weighted through ball released Hinnigan who raced past a defender and arrowed her shot into the far corner.

From then on it became an opportunity for Andy Spence to blood a number of Everton's promising youngsters and, while City began to gain a foothold in the game, they never really managed to worry England international keeper Brown.

Despite the five goals and a clean sheet, boss Andy Spence insisted he will be looking for more between now and when the season kicks off proper next month. “At times we were a little bit up and down with our performance,” he told evertonfc.com.

“There were some really good spells of football and that was illustrated by the goals we scored. But at times we stopped doing the things we have been working on in training. We are trying to get across to the players the idea of having a high intensity on and off the ball, and there were periods where we perhaps didn’t hit the heights that we are looking for.

“But there were lots of positives, nonetheless.”

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