Millwall Lionesses came from two goals down to earn a well deserved point against Oxford United Women.
The U’s made four changes from the side that lost to Yeovil in the Continental Cup, but Hannah Cox kept her place in goal over number one, Demi Lambourne.
The Northcourt Road pitch was very slippery after a night of heavy downpours, but the U’s adapted to the conditions better than the Lionesses early on. Helen King needed just three minutes to fire Oxford into the lead, capitalising on a loose ball before striking low past the Millwall goalkeeper, Sarah Quantrill.
Despite Millwall enjoying large amounts of possession in the first half, they rarely tested Cox in United’s goal, thanks largely to the U’s determined defence.
Against the possession, the U’s soon grabbed a second goal. Ella Franklin-Fraiture picked the ball up 20 yards from goal before her fierce strike looped over the discerning Quantrill, clipping the bar on its way through.
The U’s could, and probably should, have netted a third before the break when some woeful Millwall defending allowed Holly Pickett to cross, but King’s header was spectacularly saved by by Quantrill.
Shortly after, Quantrill was involved in a collision with Kayleigh Hines, and the Millwall goalkeeper’s head injury needed a substitution. With no substitute goalkeeper, defender Naomi Cole stepped in, but she was rarely tested by the U’s.
And despite the Lionesses disadvantage, they pulled one back 15 minutes into the second half when Ashlee Hincks’ curled free-kick was met by the head of Grace Fisk.
The visitors began to get a foothold on the game, as substitute Megan Goss saw her header sail narrowly wide.
But it didn’t take long for the pressure to take it’s toll as Rinsola Babajide chased a long clearance from the makeshift goalkeeper before smashing home the equaliser.
Despite the U’s now looking bereft of confidence, having thrown away their two goal advantage, they had two great opportunities to win the game, but both Franklin-Fraiture and Katie Stanley both saw their efforts go wide.
The U’s remain 6th, level on points with 5th placed Everton Ladies, whilst Millwall stay 8th, four points above the London Bees.
Saturday: Reading Women closed the gap on WSL 2 leaders Doncaster Rovers Belles to just two points after a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa Ladies.
Sunday: Durham heaped more pressure on 9th placed London Bees by winning 4-1, whilst 3rd placed Yeovil Town Ladies thumped bottom club Watford Ladies 7-1.