Everton Ladies v Doncaster Rovers Belles
Everton Ladies had to settle for a point as a stubborn Doncaster Rovers Belles twice came from behind to earn a point at Marine.
After a cagey first half of few clear cut chances, the contest was brought to life with a stunner from Nikita Parris just five minutes after the restart.
But Victoria Williams fired home to level up just 10 minutes later.
A dominant Everton regained the lead when Brooke Chaplen’s corner was bravely headed home by Chaney Boye-Hlorkah.
However, Belles substitute Cheryl Foster netted a penalty after Alex Greenwood had brought down Beth England.
The Blues started brightly in this Women’s Super League fixture, but neither Jill Scott nor Simone Magill could convert early openings.
The hosts were presented a glorious chance midway through the first period when Magill broke clear and unselfishly set up Parris, only for the young forward to drag her effort wide of the target.
Keeper Lizzie Durack was then called upon to save from first Sue Smith then Millie Bright.
Everton had the ball in the net 10 minutes prior to half time as Jody Handley thumped home the rebound after Nicola Hobbs had parried an Amy Kane drive but the linesman’s flag cut short her celebrations.
The game needed a little bit of magic and Parris duly obliged on 50 minutes. Cutting in from the left, she worked space 20 yards out and let fly with a curling dipping strike that gave Hobbs absolutely no chance.
The goal buoyed the Blues and Parris was only denied a second by a solid stop from Hobbs.
But against the run of play, Doncaster equalised as Smith’s corner was guided past Durack by Williams.
Unperturbed, Everton set about regaining the lead, and did so on 69 minutes. Chaplen sent over a pinpoint corner and Boye-Hlorkah beat a defender and the keeper to nod home.
Once again the goal galvanised the hosts but sub Michelle Hinnigan headed their next good chance wide.
And Doncaster made the most of that reprieve; England’s run into the box halted by Greenwood and up stepped Foster to make it 2-2.
Then Blues had chances to win it, Hinnigan’s free-kick narrowly high and Scott stinging the palms of Hobbs, but it finished all square.
“There’s a big sense of frustration,” admitted boss Andy Spence after the final whistle. “I think the performance had improved from the last game against Doncaster and definitely in certain aspects from the whole season.
“We had spoken about starting games better and in this one we did. There was a 10-minute spell where Donny came back into it but over the 90 minutes I think we have dominated probably 60 or 70 of them.
“We created chances but we have conceded two goals we are disappointed with because they have come from our possession.
“We are disappointed yes, but there were still lots of positives to take into our next game.”