Robe and Hincks on target for Sawbuck's sideMillwall Lionesses looked set for back-to-back wins to open their WSL 2 season before two late goals earned Everton Ladies a point at Princes Park on Sunday afternoon.
After playing in challenging conditions against Oxford United Women on Thursday, the Lionesses were again on a tough surface as pre-match downpours made for a heavy pitch with strong winds and further downpours increasing the difficulties for both sides.
Clear chances were at a premium at either end during the first-half, with Everton's best opportunity falling to Claudia Walker, who struggled to control and shoot when well placed. For the Lionesses, Megan Wynne cut in from the left before shooting over and moments later Francesca Strugnell saw a 25-yard drive saved by Alex Brookes.
But Rebecca Sawiuk's side didn't have to wait long into the second-half before finding an opener when a free-kick from Ashlee Hincks was sliced into the air and Leighanne Robe rose highest to head home her first goal for the Lionesses.
Four minutes later the hosts were two ahead as Fliss Gibbons beat her marker before being fouled in the box, with Hincks smashing home the resulting penalty kick.
Everton were beginning to show their frustration as the Lionesses took control, but the away side were given a lifeline when Chantelle Boye-Hkorkah gave Sarah Quantrill no chance with a superb 20-yard effort.
Buoyed by reducing the deficit, the visitors found a leveller just five minutes later when a simple ball over the top was latched on to by Simone Magill, who held off Naomi Cole's challenge to slot past Quantrill.
With the Lionesses tiring after two games in quick succession and momentum with Everton, the away side almost scored a late winner when Magill headed Michelle Hinningan's free-kick against the bar, but Sawiuk's side held on for a draw to make it four points from their opening two games.
The Lionesses boss said: "On a difficult pitch the girls' attitude and work rate was excellent again. They responded well at half-time, taking the lead and after going two-nil up I was confident we would be able to see the game out.
"We're making improvements. We have still got players to come back into the squad so we're in a good place, and it's nice to have started the season off with no losses.
"The belief we have in our ability and determination to do well has been ever present and we are committed to improving our game management."
Cole added: "At the start of the game we would have taken a point given the conditions and a tough side, but being in a position where we have a two-nil lead we should be seeing games out.
"Teams are showing us more respect and we're more of a threat than we have been."
The Lionesses now have a break before their next fixture, which is away to Yeovil Town Ladies on April 24th. Their next home game is at The Den, also against Yeovil, following Millwall's League One fixture with Oldham Athletic on Saturday 30th April. Kick-off is at 6.30pm.
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