Tof­fees are nowall on the same Paige

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Joshua Richards

YOU could be for­given for think­ing all was rosy in women’s football dur­ing the sum­mer, such was the pop­u­lar­ity of the World Cup, but in Mersey­side there was chaos.

While Liver­pool were wav­ing good­bye to their chances of win­ning a third con­sec­u­tive WSL ti­tle, neigh­bours Ever­ton were com­ing to terms with strik­ers Danielle Young and Lucy Whipp leav­ing the club, while man­ager Andy Spence also stepped aside.

Coach Ni­cola An­der­son was handed the reins on an in­terim ba­sis and left to pick up the pieces, but re­sults since have put her in real con­tention to get the job full-time.

A six-match un­beaten run in the league has kept the Tof­fees in con­tention for pro­mo­tion and an im­me­di­ate re­turn to the top-flight.

And de­fender Paige Wil­liams has backed An­der­son to con­tinue as man­ager.

Bril­liant

“Ni­cola was al­ways work­ing along­side Andy, so she is some­one that we knew and she has car­ried on with a sim­i­lar ap­proach,” said Wil­liams.

“In train­ing ev­ery­one is pos­i­tive and we’ve been get­ting good re­sults, so it’s been re­ally good.

“I think she would be a good man­ager. If she got the job full­time she would re­ally fight for us. She would fight for bet­ter train­ing times, bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties, be­cause she wants us to do well.

“I don’t look at whether I’m man­aged by a man or a woman, just whether they can de­liver.

“Lee Lock­ley stepped in to help out when Andy stopped and was bril­liant with us as well. Noone re­ally knew what was go­ing to hap­pen, but he has helped keep us on track.

“Of course, though, it is nice to have Ni­cola and see her do­ing a good job.”

Ever­ton’s sea­son of highs and lows has per­haps never been bet­ter high­lighted than through re­sults over the course of the last seven days.

Des­per­ate for points to keep the pres­sure on top two Don­caster Rovers Belles and Read­ing, the Tof­fees let Olivia Fer­gus­son in to head home a last-gasp equaliser for As­ton Villa last week­end.

On Thurs­day night though, they pulled off a mag­nif­i­cent come­back of their own. Trail­ing 31 away at pace-set­ters Don­caster with three min­utes left on the clock, goals from El­lie Stewart and Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah res­cued an un­likely point.

It means Ever­ton are now ten points be­hind Read­ing with five games left, and Wil­liams has not given up hope of pro­mo­tion.

Come­back

“All of the games be­tween now and the end of the sea­son are must-win,” added the Eng­land Un­der-23 in­ter­na­tional.

“We need to only worry about our­selves, make sure we get the points we need and hope the teams above us drop some points along the way.

“We were re­ally dis­ap­pointed with the draw against As­ton Villa. We were on top for the whole of the game, but we didn’t cre­ate enough clear-cut chances go­ing for­ward and then they pun­ished us at the end.

“We work hard on how we de­fend set-pieces, so to con­cede from one so late on was re­ally quite dev­as­tat­ing.”

PIC­TURE: The FA

FIGHT­ING SPIRIT: Paige Wil­liams, left, beats Ellen White of Notts County to the ball and ,inset, Lucy Whipp is chal­lenged by Wat­ford’s Josie Green

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