Lisa Evans helped West Ham to a winning start in this season’s Women’s Super League with the game’s only goal beating Everton 1-0.
Chances were scarce at Chigwell Construction Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but Evans headed home on the stroke of half-time after Everton only half cleared a corner.
Everton striker Katja Snoeijs had a few chances after the break but was denied by Mackenzie Arnold as the Hammers held firm in Paul Konchesky’s first competitive game in charge.
The former England full-back made 12 signings over the summer and made his debuts with defenders Kirsty Smith and Risa Shimizu, midfielder Jess Ziu and forward pair Honoka Hayashi and Viviane Asseyi.
The hosts started brilliantly but it was Lucy Graham who had the first real threat as the Toffees captain tested Arnold while at the other end Evans was thwarted from close range by Courtney Brosnan.
Hayashi watched his effort fly over the crossbar from afar, but just when it looked like the teams would enter the break across the board, Evans capitalized after a scramble in the Everton box.
Brosnan was only able to hit the ball at the edge of the area, where Ziu sent a looping header towards goal before Evans applied the finishing touch from the six-yard area.
Everton saw plenty of the ball after the interval as they pushed to equalise, Snoeijs pressing Arnold into action twice, but the Hammers goalkeeper prevented both shots.
In fact, the only time the Australian came close to conceding was when Shimizu passed her towards the conclusion, but West Ham were able to avoid trouble by hanging on comfortably.
Everton therefore started their season with a defeat under new manager Brian Sorensen, extending their winless run in the WSL to eight matches after a forgettable end to the 2021-22 campaign.