Women's football: Everton reach Continental Cup semi-finals

Toni Duggan

Everton reached the Continental Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win at Doncaster Belles in their last group game.

The Toffees had to come from 1-0 down after Belles forward Beth England opened the scoring in the 35th minute.

But it took Everton just four minutes to level as striker Nikita Parris scored with their first shot on target.

Defender Vicky Jones then gave the visitors the lead in the 72nd minute and a Toni Duggan penalty deep into stoppage time wrapped up the victory.

Doncaster's disappointment was eased by having England winger Sue Smith back in action following a 14-month absence.

Smith had been out with a serious knee injury that she sustained on her Donny debut and that was feared would end her career.

The 33-year-old was quickly in the action on her return to set up midfielder Millie Bright for a second-minute 25-yard shot that flew past the post.

And England was unlucky not to put the Belles in front when her well-struck 12th-minute shot thudded against the crossbar.

Her strike partner Jessica Sigsworth then ran with the ball from inside her own half before firing in a long-range effort that went narrowly wide.

The pressure paid off, though, as the home side took a deserved lead in the 35th minute with England latching on to an inch-perfect Sigsworth through-ball to shoot home.

But striker Parris soon equalised with a fine curling shot over goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs.

Donny had chances to regain the lead straight after the break, but keeper Lizzie Durack made excellent saves from Smith and then defender Ashleigh Mills.

Despite creating several other half-chances, however, Donny were on the way to defeat when Jones scored with a tremendous 20-yard shot.

And three minutes into stoppage time Duggan completed the scoring from the penalty spot following a foul on midfielder Kelly Jones.

Everton will be joined in the semi-finals by local rivals Liverpool if the Reds get at least a draw from their final game in the same group, against Chelsea on Sunday.

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