- Albion draw 0-0 with Everton at The People’s Pension Stadium
- Aileen Whelan comes close to scoring inside the opening three minutes
- Hope Powell’s side secure their second clean sheet of the season
- The Seagulls are next in action in two weeks’ time away at Manchester City
Brighton & Hove Albion battled to a hard-fought goalless draw with Everton in a FA Women’s Super League match at The People’s Pension Stadium.
In a cagey match of few clear-cut goalscoring chances, Albion put in a defensively resolute performance to claim their second clean sheet of the season and another crucial point to move further away from the foot of the table.
Hope Powell made five changes to the side that lost to Manchester City in the FA Continental Tyres League Cup on Thursday, as the Seagulls played their third match in the space of eight days.
Albion had a chance to break the deadlock inside the opening three minutes when Aileen Whelan took aim from distance, but saw her long-range effort cannon off the crossbar.
Everton were next to come close through Inessa Kaagman, who fired wide from a tight angle after Angharad James intercepted Victoria Williams on the edge of the box.
James had an opportunity to break the deadlock herself when her shot deflected wide for a corner, in what was a relatively quiet opening 45 minutes.
James’s set pieces were causing problems for the Albion defence, as Gabby George just missed the former’s enticing free kick into the box.
Albion came close to breaking the deadlock just shy of the hour mark when Whelan played a ball back across the face of goal, and Fliss Gibbons’s angled effort was cleared off the line. Ini Umotong stretched to meet the resulting corner, but her header went wide.
Williams was penalised for bringing down Chloe Kelly on the edge of the area, and Kaagman’s resulting free kick went just past Marie Hourihan’s left-hand post.
James was the Toffees’ key protagonist going forward, and she reacted to Kirsty Barton’s misplaced pass before seeing her angled attempt blocked by Williams.
The game began to open up, and Dani Buet was next to come close for Albion after Umotong did brilliantly to hold the ball up and release the skipper, whose angled effort was saved by Kirstie Levell.
Umotong had another chance herself when she took a volley inside the area, but her strike went high and over the bar.
There was still time for the Nigeria international to have another chance, as she rose highest in the box to meet Chloe Peplow's corner, but Levell made a save at the near post.
The game finished goalless and Powell’s side will now turn their attention to a game away at Manchester City in a fortnight after the upcoming international break.
ALBION: Hourihan; Barton, Rafferty, Williams, Gibbons; Peplow, Buet; A. Whelan, Brazil, Green; Umotong.
SUBS NOT USED: Harris (GK), F. Whelan, Perry, Legg, Natkiel, Brett, Simpkins.