Everton Women kicked off their FA Cup campaign with a deserved 3-0 away victory over WSL side, Aston Villa.

The first half lacked any sort of flow due to referee Amy Fearns stopping play for several minor fouls. However, the Blue’s did not let that stop them and dominated the opening half. Aston Villa goalkeeper, Anna Leat had to be at the top of her game to deny both Katja Snoeijs and Emma Bissell.

Megan Finnigan missed what was perhaps the Toffee’s greatest opportunity of the first half. When the hosts were unable to clear a corner, the captain missed close range, sending the game into the second half at 0-0.

The home side started on the front foot in the second half, with Ireland No.1 Courtney Brosnan pulling out a beautiful save to deny Lioness, Rachel Daly. Everton were next to be prevented from scoring, this time by the goal’s frame. With Anna Leat out of her net, Hanna Bennison sent out a long drive that ricocheted off of the post.

On the 58 minute, however, Karoline Olesen was not going to be denied her opportunity. This time, Hanna Bennison took the ball and created a cut-back from the by-line, which the Dane finished with such force that it gave her team a well-earned lead.

The new Toffees additions, Kathrine Kuhl and Rikke Madsen, were both eligible and came on from the bench to take the place of goal scorers Karoline Olesen and Emma Bissell.

The vivacious Rikke Madsen attempted to take instant control of the game, but her shot was stopped before Villa could concede another. However, there was not much they could do to prevent Snoeijs from reaching goal on 80 minutes. The forward first fed Kathrine Kuhl, but she saw the ball fortunately come back into her path and finished calmly, netting a second goal for the Blue’s.

After being brought down by Patten, Katja Snoeijs had the last say in the match when she scored from the penalty kick to seal a decisive win that will hopefully set the standard of quality that manager, Brian Sørensen, will expect for the remainder of the season.

Everton Women are back in WSL action against Arsenal at Meadow Park on the 20th of January, kick off is at 2pm. The Blues will also face Nottingham Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

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