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Bennison stunner helps Everton seal victory over Birmingham

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Hanna Bennison’s stunning strike helped Everton Women beat Birmingham City 3-1 as Willie Kirk’s side recorded their first win of the WSL season Saturday.

Bennison, 18, signed from FC Rosengard for a record fee last summer, decided a tight contest at Walton Hall Park with a sublime goal 17 minutes from time.

The home team had taken a 13th-minute lead thanks to Leonie Maier’s deflected effort – the Germany right back’s first goal in English football.

However, Birmingham deservedly drew level through Jade Pennock’s lovely strike 13 minutes before half-time, the visitors’ first goal of the new campaign.

Substitute Rikke Sevecke then headed in a third goal in stoppage time – her first goal for the club as well – to seal Everton’s victory as Scott Booth’s team were forced to wait for their first points of the season.

The hosts made four changes from the side that lost 4-0 to Chelsea before the international break, with Toni Duggan starting. Defender Leonie Maier was also back for her first start of the campaign and both Kenza Dali and Grace Clinton returned.

Meanwhile, the visitors made two changes from the 5-0 loss to Brighton, with Jade Pennock featuring, while Gemma Lawley also got the nod, with both players subs last time out.

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Both sides headed into the game having failed to win or score a goal this season – meaning surely something had to give in the lunchtime kick-off on Merseyside.

Everton largely controlled the final 20 minutes, confirming their first win of the campaign when Sevecke rose highest to head home a 97th-minute corner.

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