Everton Ladies v Bristol Academy
Everton Ladies returned to domestic action with a hard-earned 1-1 draw against Bristol Academy on Sunday.
The Blues were looking to avenge a 4-0 Continental Cup defeat against the same side a fortnight ago and got off to a flying start at the Stoke Gifford Stadium.
Toni Duggan raced through on goal after just nine minutes, but was felled in the box by goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain.
Up stepped Fara Williams, who sent the stopper the wrong way from the penalty spot to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Lucy Bronze then produced a goal-line clearance and Rachel Brown was alert to make several fine stops, while Jody Handley thought she had increased the Blues' lead only to see her header ruled out for offside.
After the break, it was Bristol who came out the stronger however, and it was little surprise when the hosts eventually found an equaliser, Laura Del Rio Garcia, so instrumental at Stobart Stadium earlier in the month, drilling a superb 20-yard effort beyond Brown with just 12 minutes remaining.
“We were disappointed with the way we let Bristol back into the game in the second half because I can’t remember them having a serious shot before the break,” bemoaned Williams afterwards.
“But we lost 4-0 to Bristol a fortnight before in the Continental Cup, so hopefully we can push on from this.”
The result leaves Everton fifth in the Women’s Super League table, behind both Lincoln and Bristol on goal difference.
The Blues next game is against Birmingham City at Stratford Town Football Club on Sunday.