Sunderland Ladies rallied to secure a Women’s Super League 1 draw against Everton at Mariners Park last night.
But home goalscorer Lucy Staniforth was left gutted at missing out on all three points against the third-bottom visitors.
In a first half of few chances, Everton threatened first as Gabby George flicked a free-kick wide and Chloe Kelly dragged a shot past Rachael Laws’ post from 25 yards.
Most of the opportunities were coming from range, with Sunderland duo Zaneta Wyne and Bridget Galloway both flashing efforts from distance over Lizzie Durack’s bar as the opening period ended goalless.
Everton stormed ahead two minutes into the second half as Danielle Turner powered an effort past Laws.
The goal saw the game burst into life, as George flashed a header wide before Abbey Joice almost levelled for the Wearsiders, with Durack at full-stretch to deny her after a mazy solo run.
Sunderland did not have long to wait for an equaliser though, with Staniforth curling the resultant corner over everyone and in off the far post.
Both sides had late chances to win it, with Keira Ramshaw firing into the hands of Durack and the visitors’ Courtney Sweetman-Kirk curling an effort wide of the far post, but neither could find the elusive third goal of the game.
Staniforth said: “I think we all feel a bit disappointed that we didn’t get all three points.
“The game was quite even, although I thought that we were the better team and we just needed to test their goalkeeper a bit more.
“I’m happy with the point, but I would have liked three.
“It’s quite funny because I’ve scored a few corners now and it’s becoming a bit of a speciality.
“It’s great to score another goal and it’s just a shame we couldn’t get all three points.
“I was gutted we conceded so early in the second half, especially after we’d just said in the changing room that we needed to be defensively tight.
“We felt we had a point to prove after losing to Everton earlier this season.
“We weren’t at our best that game and we were disappointed with ourselves and let the fans down.
“It’s something we wanted to put right tonight and we’re one step closer to that.”
Sunderland, who stayed fourth-bottom, are back in action at fourth-top Birmingham on Sunday.
Everton skipper Turner commented: “We’re disappointed with the result, but it’s an improvement on Sunday’s performance (their 5-1 SSE Women’s FA Cup win at Durham), which is a positive.
“I’m on a bit of a goalscoring run which is pleasing personally and I seem to like scoring against Sunderland because that’s my third now!
“Even though it was an emphatic scoreline against Durham, we weren’t pleased with the performance, so today is something we can take forward.”
Sunderland Ladies (4-3-3): Rachael Laws; Rachel Pitman, Victoria Williams (Ellie Stewart 33), Hayley Sharp, Zaneta Wyne; Kasia Lipka, Dominique Bruinenberg (Mollie Lambert 62), Lucy Staniforth; Keira Ramshaw, Abbey Joice, Bridget Galloway (Simona Koren 73). Subs not used: Anke Preuss, Kylla Sjoman, Louise Griffiths. Booking: Wyne 43
Everton Ladies (4-2-3-1): Lizzie Durack; Taylor Hinds (Elise Hughes 84), Gabby George, Georgia Brougham, Siri Worm; Megan Finnigan (Olivia Chance 70), Angharad James; Danielle Turner, Mollie Green (Jodie Brett 70), Chloe Kelly; Courtney Sweetman-Kirk. Subs not used: Kirstie Levell, Marthe Munsterman, Faye Bryson
Referee: Rebecca Welch
To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match, visit www.fawsl.com/tickets