Albion drew 1-1 after being pegged back by Oxford.
- Albion claim a point at home to Oxford United
- Bronwen Thomas scores on her first FAWSL Spring Series start
- Eve Gane replies for the visitors with a brilliant goal
- Emma Byrne pulls off a string of saves to keep score level
Brighton & Hove Albion recorded their second successive 1-1 draw in the FA Women’s Super League Spring Series, in a fast-paced and competitive game at Culver Road this afternoon.
Bronwen Thomas found the top corner to give Albion the lead in the first half, but Eve Gane’s second-half strike levelled the scoreline to secure a point for both sides.
George Parris made just one change to the side that lost in the SSE Women’s FA Cup, as Thomas replaced Amy Taylor in attack for the Seagulls.
The visitors had the first chance of the game as Lauren Haynes had a long-range strike deflected behind. From the resulting corner, Oxford had the ball in the net but referee Shaun Farrer blew for a foul inside the box.
Albion goalkeeper Emma Byrne comfortably dealt with Ellie Noble’s ambitious half-volley from long distance, before Kate Natkiel’s swerving effort from 25 yards sailed wide of the target up the other end.
The Seagulls took the lead on 32 minutes and it was Thomas who got the goal on her first start in the WSL Spring Series, as her curling shot from inside the box deflected into the top corner from Natkiel’s neat pass across.
Thomas was boosted after breaking the deadlock and went for another soon after, but the winger’s shot from 25 yards whistled over the crossbar, before Russo fired straight into the arms of Oxford goalkeeper Demi Lambourne.
U’s striker Ini Umotong provided a physical test for Albion’s defence as she shrugged off pressure from Vicky Ashton-Jones and fired towards goal, but the forward’s right-footed effort flew narrowly over the crossbar.
Sophie Perry then curled a free kick straight into the hands of Lambourne from 30 yards, before Somes drilled a shot wide of the target after latching onto Kirsty Barton’s lofted pass in behind.
The visitors restored parity to the scoreline as they levelled the game against the run of play on 67 minutes, as Gane charged down the left wing, cut inside of Legg and whipped a brilliant effort past Byrne into the top corner.
Russo and Umotong had chances at either end but the goalkeepers prevailed on both occasions, before Emily Donovan tested Byrne with a low effort after being played through on goal.
Oxford came agonisingly close to taking the lead as Umotong’s volley from inside the box cannoned back off the post and, fortunately for Albion, dropped straight into the hands of Byrne.
Substitute Hollie Olding almost had an instant impact after coming on, but Lambourne got down well to save the midfielder’s low-driven effort from 25 yards.
Byrne pushed a late shot from Amber Roberts around the post and then saved well from Umotong, but Albion survived Oxford’s late pressure as both teams secured a share of the spoils.
ALBION: Byrne; Legg, Young, Ashton-Jones, Perry; Russo, Barton (Olding 83), Rafferty, Somes (A. Taylor 76); Thomas (Dorey 89), Natkiel.
SUBS NOT USED: Samain (GK).