- Albion draw 3-3 with Everton
- The Seagulls record their first point of the season
- Danielle Buet and Ellie Brazil (2) on target for Albion
- Hope Powell’s side face Manchester City next Sunday
Brighton & Hove Albion recorded their first point of the FA Women’s Super League season, after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Everton at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Albion looked to be heading for another defeat after goals from Inessa Kaagman, Gabby George and Chloe Kelly overturned Danielle Buet’s opener to put the Toffees 3-1 up, but Ellie Brazil struck twice to earn the Seagulls a share of the spoils.
Hope Powell made three changes from the line-up that faced Chelsea two weeks ago, as Chloe Peplow, Kate Natkiel and Jodie Brett were all brought into the side.
And it was Brett who had the game’s first chance in the opening minute. as the midfielder’s header forced Kirstie Levell in the Everton goal into a low diving save.
But the Seagulls didn’t have to wait long to find their first league goal of the season as just two minutes later, Buet unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top right-hand corner.
The match then turned scrappy with neither team managing to break down the opposition backline and limiting each other to long range opportunities.
However, in the 27th minute the hosts took advantage of some sloppy defending from Albion as Fliss Gibbons’s attempted clearance couldn’t find its way clear of the penalty area, and Simone Magill teed up Kaagman, whose effort curled into the net via a deflection.
Just minutes later Everton could have had a second as the Albion defence again presented the Toffees with a chance, but Magill couldn’t capitalise on this occasion.
Albion’s best chance to retake the lead came in the 40th minute, when Gibbons whipped a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but the head of Everton defender Megan Finnigan saw off the danger with Ini Umotong ready to pounce.
With one additional minute added, Albion looked as though they had done enough to go into the break level, but a pinpoint corner found George, who sent a powerful header past Marie Hourihan.
The game opened up after the interval and became very end-to-end with both teams looking to catch each other out on the break, but neither side were able to create a clear-cut chance.
All that changed on 70 minutes when Everton substitute Kelly was given too much time and space in the penalty area, as she calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to extend the Toffees’ advantage.
Albion didn’t let this setback deter them and kept pushing for a goal to change the momentum.
Just five minutes after Everton’s goal, Albion were awarded a free-kick on the left hand side of the pitch. Buet stepped up and swung in the ball towards Aileen Whelan, whose flick-on found Brazil at the far post to head in to the net and pull the Seagulls back into the match.
Then just three minutes later, Buet had another chance to deliver the ball from a similar position and this time picked out Brazil directly, who headed in her second from close range.
In the dying minutes, Brazil had a chance to win it for Albion, but was foiled by the Everton defence in search of her hat-trick.
All this means Albion secure their first point and first goals of the season and remain above Yeovil Town in the table.
ALBION: Hourihan; Barton, Rafferty, Williams, Gibbons (Legg 73); Natkiel (Nilden 46), Brett, Buet, Peplow; A. Whelan; Umotong (Brazil 46).
SUBS NOT USED: Gillett (GK), F. Whelan, Green.
Tickets are on sale for Albion's next FA Women's Super League match against Manchester City on Sunday, 21 October. Prices start from £7 for adults and £3 for under 10s when booked in advance. Visit seagullstickets.com for full details.