SANDY MacIver's player of the match award in a defeated Everton side in yesterday's Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley tells you she threw everything into her performance.

The 22-year-old goalkeeper from Winsford ended up heartbroken sat on the turf as her former club Manchester City finally found a way past her in extra-time but MacIver is being hailed for a magnificent display that included some world-class saves.

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford Guardian:

Afterwards, the Everton manager Willie Kirk said: “She did everything she could to keep the ball out of the net. It wasn’t always pretty but she was outstanding and very much showed that, for me, she’s England’s number one.”

Winsford Guardian:

Winsford Guardian:

All pictures courtesy of PA Wire

City lifted a third FA Cup in four seasons after substitutes Georgia Stanway and Janine Beckie, with the last kick of the game, scored in the second half of extra time to complete a 3-1 success against an Everton side on the rise.

The 50th Women’s FA Cup final had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

England international MacIver said on Twitter: "Absolutely gutted. Nothing describes the hurt of this loss but couldn’t be prouder of how far we’ve come in such a short space of time. The future is bright and blue."

 

There has been a lot of response on social media to her player-of-the-match display.

 

MacIver actually started out as a striker.

She started playing for a boys club when she was six, before progressing to the Crewe Alexandra academy.

There she had her first taste of playing in goal, before getting through trials at Everton and later switching to Manchester City before moving to the USA to study in 2016.

She previously revealed: “I played for a while in the Crewe Alexandra academy and in my last year there we needed some goalkeeping cover – so I played in one of the games and I wasn’t that bad.

“At the end of that season I had to try and find a new club so I was trialling as a keeper, which in hindsight was probably a bit of a risk, and Everton picked me up.

“I played there for four years and then played one more year at Manchester City before I moved to the USA.”

MacIver accepted a scholarship to play for the Clemson University college team in South Carolina.

There she quickly established herself as the number-one keeper for the Tigers but was still making frequent trips back home as she worked her way up the England development teams.

Upon graduation MacIver was offered a contract by former club Everton and made her professional debut for the Toffees in a 3-1 Women’s Super League win over Reading back in January.

“I loved my time over in America – they focus a lot on fitness and strength over there – which I definitely think is going to help me develop my game further, especially being a keeper,” she added.

“There was a lot of flying backwards and forwards while I was playing in the youth set-up and I’ve racked up a lot of air miles but it was all worthwhile for sure.”

She has been part of the England set-up since youth level and is pushing for her Lionesses debut.

MacIver has represented England at under 17s, under 19s, under 20s and under 21s level.

She was part of the England squad that won the bronze medal in the 2018 Under 20s World Cup in France, and was awarded the Golden Glove as the tournament's best goalkeeper.

MacIver was named as part of the England senior team's travelling party during the 2019 SheBelieves Cup and trained with the team during the tournament but was not part of the playing squad.

She received her first senior England call-up for friendlies against Belgium and Norway that year but did not make an appearance.

MacIver featured in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup squad in February.