Manchester United Women booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Continental Tyres Cup with a convincing victory over Everton at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium.
After suffering a first defeat in the Women’s Championship at the hands of Durham on Sunday, Stoney made four changes to her starting line-up. Into the fold came Martha Harris, Leah Galton, Jess Sigsworth and Lauren James as the Reds sought to end the year on a high against an Everton side sat three places above them in the women’s football pyramid.
Five minutes later, Stoney’s side doubled the advantage. This time James was the creator as her ball in from the right found Leah Galton. Her brilliant downward header beat Levell and gave the Reds a tighter grip on the game. Katie Zelem could have added a third for United when she spotted the Toffees’ shot-stopper off her line and had a crack at goal from distance. The midfielder’s strike beat the keeper but was cruelly denied by the frame of the goal.
Moments later though, Galton went on a mazy run and won a free-kick just outside the penalty area. Up stepped Katie Zelem who fired the ball into the roof of the net and sent the travelling fans behind the goal into ecstasy on a cold winter’s night in Southport.
At the other end, Stoney’s side continued to search for a fourth goal. James produced a brilliantly weighted ball through to Mollie Green whose shot was saved after being one-on-one with Levell.
Into stoppage time, Ella Toone, who had just come on from the bench, charged into the box, but the Toffees’ keeper was quick off her line to produce a fine block from the youngster’s strike.
Despite not scoring in the second half, it was ultimately a convincing victory for the Reds, resulting in progress to the quarter-finals of the Continental Tyres Cup which will take place in early January.
With the team riding high at the top of the FA Women’s Championship and receiving a bye through to the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup, Stoney's squad will have plenty to look forward to in the new year.
United: Chamberlain; Smith, A. Turner, M. Turner, Harris; Greenwood (c), Zelem, Green; Galton (Toone 90), James (Hanson 74), Sigsworth.
Substitutes not used: Palmer, Ramsey, Devlin, Arnot, Salmon.
Goals: James 12, Galton 17, Zelem 37.
United's next home game follows a three-week break for Christmas. London Bees will be the visitors to Leigh Sports Village on Sunday 6 January 2019 (kick-off 12:00 GMT). Match tickets are on sale at www.manutd.com/womenstickets and priced at £5 (£2.50 for U16s/65+).
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What a sweet win! Gallery
Our women's team wrapped up 2018 by beating the Toffees - Everton Ladies - 3-0 on Thursday night.