The Hereford FC Women’s side drew 1-1 with Evesham side TDMS Ladies in the Midwest Counties Female Football League on Sunday afternoon.
In blustery conditions and on a pitch where the word uneven was an understatement, Scott Russell’s side took an early lead when Lauren Brown’s looped ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by a sleepy home defence, and Roxana Dinescu was able to control the ball and fire into the corner after only four minutes.
The goal woke the home side up and they started to play like the side that finished second in the League last season. A 12th-minute corner was headed narrowly over the bar as they pressed for a quick equaliser, but it was the visitors that almost doubled the lead after great work from Tasha Jones.
Frances Layton broke through the middle of the park, firing a shot which cannoned off the post. Dinescu could have had her second shortly after following a good passing move between the top scorer and Ana Moreira, but the keeper saved the top corner effort.
At the other end TDMS forced keeper Katie Wood to tip a shot onto and over the crossbar before Brown needed to be brave to cut out the angle with the striker bearing down on goal.
The second half started with a penalty shout waved away as Moreira was fouled in the area. With the cross-field wind causing problems, it was the gambled balls that seem to have the better effect. Sian Lewis snatched at a chance that the keeper was glad came straight at her, with Kelsey Francis and Megan Holman working hard at the back to clear balls that had an unpredictable bounce and angle.
TDMS finally equalised on 72 minutes, with their no.9 slotting home a right-wing cross that evaded the defence. Minutes later Nicole Sullivan needed every inch of her strength to shield a driving ball from the physically larger attacker.
The game ended with chances for both sides to steal the win. First Layton took advantage of confusion in the home defence to lash a shot that was blocked for a corner, before TDMS broke up the pitch and skimmed the crossbar with an effort from range.
The last chance fell to Brown with a 25-yard free kick, but the ball wasn’t quite in the top corner and the keeper was able to take it cleanly. Manager Russell was pleased with the point from a physical game against one of the better sides in the League, and he will look to push on in next Sunday’s League match with Welland Ladies at Old School Lane, 2pm kickoff.