By Paul Lagan at Goodison Park
Everton 2 v Chelsea 1
Chelsea crashed out of the FA Cup as resurgent Everton came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Goodison Park.
The Blues, in their shocking salmon pink kit took an early lead through Erin Cuthbert, but a succession of missed chances gave the home side hope and the Lucy Graham struck five minutes int the second half and substitute Valerie Gauvin crashed home the winner from close range.
The Blues will rue those missed chances, but Everton are a tough, resolute outfit and their resilience to thwart a Chelsea side who pushed right until the end of the four added minutes was rewarded with a shock win.
The first attack went to the visitors, Sam Kerr out in a low drive across the six-yard box, but Fran Kirby was thwarted by the dive onto the ball by Sandy Maclver.
And it took just five minutes for the west Londoners to open the scoring. After excellent set-up play by Pernille Harder and Kirby, the ball was arrowed into the Everton penalty area. Erin Cuthbert collected the ball and turn 180 degrees to cut the ball home past a prone Maclver.
The Blues pushed forward and could have scored but Kirby’s header was cleared off the line. This was quickly followed by Cuthbert powering over the crossbar a header from Hardee’s right byline cross.
Harder should have composed herself better on 11 minutes but she crashed her edge of the area left-footer high and wide.
Everton’s Hayley Raso had an excellent run on the left, but scuffed her shot after she had got past Maren Mjelde, sending the ball wide of Ann-Katrin Berger’s right post on 20 minutes. A Cuthbert daisy-cutter on 26 minutes from just outside the penalty area was well held by Maclver.
Six minutes from the half-time whistle and the home side struck. A poor header by centre-back Jess carter gifted possession to Everton, who proceeded to work the ball along their right. An inch-perfect cross by Ingrid Moe Wold was met by a bullet header from skipper Lucy Graham and the ball zipped past Berger to equalise.
Carter redeemed herself two minutes later when sloppy defending allowed Raso free on goal but her angled shot was hacked off the line by the defender.
Twice the Blues had chances to restore their lead, Kerr saw her cross apparently handled by Rilke Sevecke but referee Ben Wyatt dismissed then pleas for a spot kick. The Kirby saw a shot saved by Maclver.
Everton boss Willie Kirk made one change at half-time Damaris Egurrola on for Simone Magill.
Emma hayes kept the same starting 11.
The first yellow card was brandished to Everton’s Isobel Christiansen for fouling Harder on 50 minutes.
Kirby had a wonderful chance to score a minute later but she hesitated a little allowing MaClver to get in position to block her shot. The goalkeeper was in action again four minutes later tipping a powerful shot by Harder away for a corner. But the the Toffeewomen struck when Valerie Gauvin slotted home from close range to take a 2-1 lead.
Hayes decided she had seen enough on 64 minutes and made a change – Melanie Leupolz on for So-Yun Ji.
She was quickly followed by Guro Reiten and Beth England, Sophie Ingle and ineffectual Kerr were replaced on 74 minutes.
Niamh Charles replaced Carter with eight minutes on the clock as Hayes sought a way to break down the resolute Everton defence.
Chelsea: Berger, Bright, Ingle, Carter, Ji, Kirby, Mjelde, Kerr, Cuthbert, Harder, Andersson
Subs: Telford, Thorisdottir, Blundell, Leupolz, England, Reiten, J. Fleming, Charles, Spence
Everton: Maclver, Moe Wold, Turner, Sevecke, Stringer, Finnigan, Christiansen, Raso, Graham, Sorensen, Magill
Subs: Korpela, Boye-Hlorkah, Egurrola, Pike, Clemaron, Gauvin, Pattinson
Referee: Ben Wyatt
Picture – Fran Kirby tussles for the ball. Photo: Mia Eriksson
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.