Lewes’s FA Cup journey came to an end as top-tier Everton
crashed six past the Rookettes at the Pan.
If the Rookettes were a little nervous, it was
understandable. Not only were the playing in front a record crowd for a women’s
match of 975, but they were facing opponents from two divisions higher up the
They didn’t have time to settle any jitters before Everton took
the lead. The Toffees had already had one strike ruled out for offside before
they took the lead in the seventh minute. A low ball was skidded across the
six-yard box and Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah was waiting unmarked at the back post
to put the visitors in front.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled. Everton’s highly
impressive skipper, Danielle Turner, showed Katie McIntyre a clean pair of heels
before setting free Chole Kelly to apply a classy finish.
The Rookettes were on the ropes and only had the exceptional
Faye Baker to thank for keeping them in the game in the first half, as she
pulled off a succession of great saves. At the other end, the threat on the Everton
goal was coming from Sarah Kempson, who slotted one effort wide before drilling
another just over the bar.
Any hope of a Rookettes comeback was extinguished by the
third Everton goal, which felt like a reconstruction of the first. Lewes surrendered
the ball cheaply on the edge of the box and Hlorkah applied the finish at the back
post once more.
The fourth, just before half-time, was a moment the Lewes
back line will want to forget. A short ball out from Baker was dwelt on too
long by Wells, who gifted Hlorkah the chance to complete her hat-trick before she
left the field with injury on the stroke of half-time.
Lewes were chasing a lost cause in the second half, but they
didn’t let their energy levels drop, continuing to battle for every ball, while
Baker continued to defy the Everton forwards with a series of smart saves.
It took Everton almost half an hour of the second period to find
their fifth, and it was the goal of the day, Turner living up to her name by spinning
sharply in the box and firing an unstoppable effort past Baker. A headed Finnigan
goal from a corner brought the scoring to a merciful end.
Outclassed, but not outfought, the Rookettes have an enormous
amount to be proud of from their record-breaking cup run. Attention now turns
back to the League programme and news of semi-final opponents in the League
Cup, not forgetting an ongoing County Cup campaign. There’s still an awful lot
for that record crowd to come back for.
Lewes: Baker, Thompson, McIntyre (c), Rutherford, Carter (Bridges), Owen (Taylor), Lane, McCarthy, Kempson, Wells (Johnson), Carleton.
Everton: Levell, Hinds, Brougham, Finnigan, Worm, Chance, Munsterman, Brett, Boye-Hlorkah, Kelly, Turner.