Blues Held To Bristol Draw

Everton were forced to settle for a point as Bristol City held the hosts to a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Despite a largely dominant performance from the Walton Hall Park regulars, two equalising strikes from Lauren Smith's side forced the spoils to be shared.

A maiden Martina Piemonte strike in Royal Blue gave Brian Sorensen's side a dream start five minutes into the contest. 

An equalising effort into injury time from Amy Rodgers ensured the visitors went into the break level.

The Blues reacted first in the second half as Megan Finnigan volleyed in the Toffees second.

Despite a strong second half showcase, Everton conceded second when Amalie Thestrup placed the ball past Courtney Brosnan.

Boss Sorensen made one change from the battling performance against Chelsea, Katja Snoeijs coming in for Heather Payne.

It was the perfect start early into the contest.

Excellent play down the left-channel saw Katrine Veje play the ball into the area. It fell kindly to Piemonte whose initial effort was saved by Olivia Clarke. The Italian made no mistake on the rebound, lashing it high into the net to give Everton the lead.

Piemonte had a chance to grab her second just 10 minutes later.

A loose Bristol City back pass opened the opportunity to a 50-50 challenge with the City 'keeper who was equally as quick to the challenge.

Clarke did just enough doing to slow down Piemonte’s momentum and lead her away from goal.

Everton continued to produce a good spell of attacks, working the ball down the left wing excellently with Sara Holmgaard’s cross parried away by the goalkeeper only as far as Nicoline Sorensen, who could work the ball back into the box for more last-ditch City defending. 

The Blues' patient build-up play looked to frustrate City. However, five minutes before half-time, the away side tested the hosts' backline with a flurry of consecutive corners and dangerous crosses needing to be dealt with by Courtney Brosnan. 

Everton came close to doubling their lead when Aurora Galli's effort collided off a Bristol body and went narrowly wide of the post. 

Despite the Blues dominance, City had their equaliser in first-half stoppage time.

A loose ball fell kindly to Rodgers, who made no mistake with her finish into the top-right corner and take the sides in level at the break.

Everton looked to react quickly into the second half and were back in front just before the hour mark.

A short corner was worked into the box and caused problems for the City 'keeper as her save dropped at the feet of Justine Vanhaevermaet.

The Belgian's effort crashed off the crossbar, falling back out Captain Finnigan to smash home on a half-volley from 12 yards out.

Katja Snoeijs came close to regaining Everton the lead as she was narrowly beaten to the ball by the City keeper, once again showing her speed off her line. 

Snoeijs caused more problems for the City defence as she sent Sorensen through on goal with an incredible long-range pass, with the effort on goal tipped away by Clarke and arrived narrowly wide of the far post.

City would earn their point just seven minutes from full time.

Naomi Layzell battled through two Everton challenges and released Thestrup through on goal. A precise finish from a tight angle by the Bristol forward put the visitors level for a second time.

Everton return to action next weekend with a trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa.