Beth Mead fired Arsenal into third in the FA Women’s Super League 1 as the Gunners beat Everton at Meadow Park.
Danielle Carter snatched at the game’s earliest chance after 12 minutes as Arsenal pressed for an early lead.
The hosts’ Emma Mitchell required a brief to the treatment room on 28 minutes after Chloe Kelly’s boot drew blood with a high foot.
Despite Everton having settled into the game, Arsenal took the lead on 37 minutes when Mead had time to control a cross and sweep in at the back post for her 15th goal of the season.
Mollie Green, a late call-up after Blues captain Danielle Turner was taken ill pre-game, nearly equalised from 30 yards but Sari van Veenendaal, at full stretch, tipped the ball onto the bar.
Olivia Chance and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk were denied by Van Veenendaal and the offside flag respectively within 10 minutes of the restart before Carter missed two chances to settle the game.
The Gunners forward fired over from 12 yards on 56 minutes and was denied a certain goal by an outstanding reaction save from Toffees goalie Lizzie Durack eight minutes later.
Arsenal had done enough to leapfrog Liverpool into third.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Arsenal goalscorer Beth Mead said:
“It’s nice to be scoring goals. We were playing with 10 players at the time, so the girls were tired but we were keeping possession well and it I think was nice to get that breakthrough with the goal.
“The girls played with 10 players for a long time (following Emma Mitchell’s temporary withdrawal), which took it out of the team, but we showed professionalism in the shape that we kept when we were playing and made it hard for Everton to break us down.
“The cold was hard and we had to adapt to it and obviously both teams have to play in it.”
Everton defender Gabrielle George, who took up the armband at the last minute after Dan Turner pulled out, said:
“It does not affect me. I have been vice-captain since the start of the season, so I know I have to take the armband if anything happens, but that doesn’t change anything.
“I think, in the second half, we showed what we are capable of doing and I thought we should have got a point at the end of it, but these things happen.
“We are new to the league and we are still finding our feet at the start of the season but we have started putting in good performances – we need to start turning those performances into results now.”
Arsenal (4-3-3): Sari Van Veenendaal, Emma Mitchell, Louise Quinn, Lisa Evans, Katie McCabe, Dominique Janssen, Danielle van de Donk, Kim Little (C), Beth Mead, Danielle Carter, Heather O’Reilly
Substitutes: Lauren James for Little 46, Jess Ngunga for O’Reilly 90, Anna Kuyken for Mead 90
Substitutes not used: Anna Moorhouse, Alex Scott, Leah Williamson
Bookings: Danielle van de Donk, Sari Van Veenendaal
Everton (4-4-2): Lizzie Durack, Faye Bryson, Gabrielle George (C), Georgia Brougham, Siri Worm, Olivia Chance, Megan Finnigan, Angharad James, Chloe Kelly, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Mollie Green
Substitutes: Jodie Brett for Green 65, Elise Hughes for Finnigan 90
Substitutes not used: Kristie Levell, Marthe Munsterman, Taylor Hinds
Bookings: Faye Bryson
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