Leupolz came on for the Blues in the immediate aftermath of the goal and she almost created an equaliser with one of her first involvements. Her run down the right-hand side was picked out by Mjelde and she sent a low cross into the path of Harder, who didn’t connect cleanly with her shot and MacIver made a comfortable save.
Hayes rolled the dice soon after – on came England and Guro Reiten, tasked with finding the goal that would keep our FA Cup campaign alive. The former went close with a header just a few minutes after coming on, but once again MacIver was equal to it. The Everton goalkeeper was enjoying a game she won’t forget in a hurry.
Another attacking change followed, as Niamh Charles – a Scouser who joined us from Everton’s neighbours Liverpool this summer – came on for Carter with seven minutes left on the clock. Still we continued to lay siege to MacIver’s goal, but time and time again the Toffees kept us at bay. There were blocks, saves and more missed chances in a frenetic denouement to an absorbing contest, but not the equalising goal we had fought so hard for.
And so an FA Cup campaign that began in January had finally come to an end in late-September, our involvement in the competition concluding before the semi-final stage for the first time since 2013. There is little time to dwell on that, though, as a crucial league trip to Birmingham City follows next Sunday.
Chelsea (4-4-2) Berger; Mjelde, Bright (c), Carter (Charles 83), Andersson; Kirby, Ji (Leupolz 64), Ingle (Reiten 74), Cuthbert; Harder, Kerr (England 74)
Unused subs Telford, Thorisdottir, Blundell, J Fleming, Spence
Scorer Cuthbert 5
Everton (4-2-3-1) MacIver; Moe Wold, Sevecke, Finnigan, Turner; Stringer (Egurrola h/t), Christiansen; Raso, Graham, Sorensen (Boye-Hlorkah 80); Magill (Gauvin h/t)
Unused subs Korpela, Pike, Clemaron, Pattinson
Scorers Graham 40, Gauvin 63
Booked Christiansen 51
Referee Simon Mather
Crowd Behind closed doors