Hanna Bennison’s free kick was deflected from goalkeeper Kirstie Levell to give Everton a 1-0 win over Leicester in extra time at the end of the Women’s Super League game at Walton Hall Park.
Levell’s late intervention by the Swedish substitute’s dead ball led to a restrained game to a sold-out crowd and left the visitors looking for their first point of the campaign.
How Everton left Leicester, still looking for their first point…
Neither side were able to create any real chances in the early exchanges as Leicester’s rear reacted well to the hosts’ high press.
The Foxes got their first chance when Molly Pike tried to chip Emily Ramsey, but her attempt ended up in the hands of the Toffees keeper.
Everton’s first chance came midway through the second half when Nathalie Bjorn slid the ball to Katja Snoeijs, but her attempt was well blocked by Levell.
Izzy Christiansen then tried to take out Snoeijs, but the Dutch international was not there to finish and Christiansen could only see her sailing over the goal.
Lucy Graham could only muster half a chance from the edge of the area, turning around before firing wide from her less favored left foot as the visitors fended off a sustained bout of attack. And on the other hand, Megan Finnigan easily made a shot from Jemma Purfield into the penalty area, leaving the teams scoreless into halftime.
A restart chance saw Josie Green’s attempt blocked, and Brian Sorensen’s side survived a scare when Ramsey, on her league debut for the Blues, collided with Sam Tierney, but was able to proceed after calling attention .
The visitors won a free kick and Purfield aimed straight at goal, but her attempt was parried by Ramsey.
Gabby George tried to get the hosts going when her low effort was stopped by Levell from a tight corner.
Substitutes for both sides missed opportunities in quick succession, with Natasha Flint unable to cross into the Foxes before debutant Karen Holmgaard fired a sharp attempt at Ramsey.
Bennison nearly broke the deadlock in the 69th minute, deftly dodging her marker before curling an effort wide of the right post.
It was the start of a period of pressure from the hosts, with Gio Queiroz driving into the area from the right but failing to get a good angle on her low right footed attempt.
With few chances for either side as the game drew to a close, Everton floated into a corner, but Levell put on a glove and squandered any chance of an opener.
When the clock ticked into the fourth minute of stoppage time, Bennison broke the deadlock with a smashing free kick that reached the top corner via the hapless Levell.
Everton next play on October 16 when they host Chelsea after the international break. Leicester travel to Man Cityalso on October 16, but before that they make a trip to blackburn Sunday in the League Cup.