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Brave Everton go close
 Women's Football News 8 Oct 2009
Brave Everton go close - 8 Oct 2009 - Women's Football NewsEverton bow out of the UEFA Women's Champions League for this season but only after giving Norwegian opponents Roa IL a huge scare.
Mo Marley's went into the second leg trailing by three goals but a superb performance brought a 2-0 victory and they were desperately not to overturn the deficit and progress to the last sixteen.
There were early signs of what was to come as Natasha Dowie picked up a loose ball in the opening minute and ran towards goal, producing a low strike which was well saved by Caroline Knutsen.
However Everton were to get the early goal they craved just six minutes later, Fara Williams sliding an inch perfect ball into the path of Emily Westwood who buried her shot into the far corner of the net.
Dowie saw a 25-yard strike tipped over by Knutsen and a combination of post and goalkeeper kept out Toni Duggan and Williams in a scramble. Dowie was in superb form up front and a first time effort from Rachel Unitt's pass flashed into the side netting.
Everton continued to press with Jill Scott heading a Duggan centre across goal and just out of reach of the oncoming Jody Handley. Williams again tested Knutsen from long range but, at the other end, there was a scare for Everton as Kristine Edner threatened to score but was denied by a vital interception from Scott.
Everton came out strongly at the start of the second half and went close once more with a 25-yard free kick by Williams striking the bar and Dowie heading the rebound over.
Guro Knutsen produced a rare effort for Roa when she cut in from the left and shot wide whilst at the other end, Dowie was narrowly off target after Handley had nodded on Westwood's crossfield ball.
Roa passed up a good opportunity as Camilla Huse missed the target from Emilie Haavi's cross and this looked to be a vital moment with Everton increasing their advantage moments later. A great move involving Unitt and Williams ended with Duggan setting up substitute Michelle Hinnigan to drill a low left foot shot home and further raise her side's hopes.
Driven on by the outstanding Williams in midfield, Everton threw everything they could at their nervy opponents. Dowie fired a shot inches past the far post after holding off Marit Christensen and Williams was off target with a free kick.
With Everton committed forward, it was inevitable that Roa would get chances on the break, firstly Ada Finskud volleyed a chance over the bar and then the same player broke through on goal and held off Westwood but was denied by a brilliant save from Rachel Brown as she came off her line.
The game went into injury time and Everton continued to pound their opponents and almost took the game to extra time as a strike from Williams again sailed inches past the post. However their efforts could not bring further reward and a relieved Roa held out to earn themselves a tie with Zvezda-2005.
Everton: Rachel Brown, Becky Easton (sub Michelle Hinnigan 53mins), Rachel Unitt, Fara Williams, Fern Whelan, Lindsay Johnson, Jody Handley (sub Gwennan Harries 74mins), Jill Scott (sub Brooke Chaplen 88mins), Natasha Dowie, Emily Westwood, Toni Duggan.
Roa IL: Caroline Knutsen, Camilla Huse, Rebecca Sauerbrunn, Marthe Johansen (sub Hedda Gardsjord 61mins), Marit Christensen, Kristine Edner, Guro Knutsen, Marie Knutsen, Elise Thorsnes, Siri Nordby, Emilie Haavi (sub Ada Finskud 69mins).

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