The Continental Cup game between Everton and Manchester United, due to kick off at 7pm on Wednesday evening, has been called off as a result of safety concerns at the Toffees’ Walton Hall Park ground, caused by damage from high winds.
Everton are expectant that the fixture will be re-arranged and will communicate the new date in due course. But while United are clear that safety comes first, they have also expressed ‘disappointment with both the ‘process and timing involved in this decision’.
United manager Casey Stoney expressed her frustration in a statement published by her club.
“I must make it clear that we as a club wanted this game to be played and were accommodating in the options that were put forward,” the United boss said. “My players and staff have worked so hard in our preparation for this upcoming busy fixture period and it is therefore extremely frustrating to have it called off less than 24 hours before kick-off.”
Over the next two weekends, United face Arsenal and Manchester City in the WSL, as well as a second Manchester derby in quick succession in the Conti Cup, before the domestic schedule pauses once more for international football at the end of the month.
Over the same period, Everton are due to face Chelsea, Reading (WSL) and Liverpool (Conti Cup).
The re-arranged Conti Cup game between the clubs will need to take place sooner rather than later, with the group stage making way for the knockout rounds in January. But both are in regular action in December up to the start of the annual winter break.
Whenever it is played, the fixture promises to be an enticing contest. Everton and United have both started the 2020/21 season in fine form and are second and third in the WSL respectively.