BURTON Albion's U18 side rescued a point with a superb fightback on Sunday - drawing 2-2 away at Sporting Khalsa in their return to Central Warwickshire Girls Football League action.
Heading to one of the early-season pacesetters with a new-look central midfield partnership of Bethan Wass and Maisie Plumb, the Brewers got off to a confident start, keeping good possession and creating two good chances in the first 10 minutes with Tilly Bridgett and Sommer Button both drawing good saves from the Sporting Khalsa keeper.
However, after an even opening half-hour, Khalsa went ahead on 34 minutes, taking advantage of Albion not fully clearing a corner with Isabel AUSTIN-SHORT pouncing on the bouncing ball and hitting an unstoppable shot passed Lola Smith.
HALF-TIME: SPORTING KHALSA 1-0 BURTON ALBION
The second half started the same as the first with Albion on the front foot, but the hosts would quickly double their lead against the run of play with 50 minutes on the clock.
After a great goalline clearance from Keira Harman, Khalsa won the ball back and Maja SZYMKOWIAK hit another unstoppable shot past Smith.
The Brewers, who could easily have let their heads drop, sensed there was still something in the game and pushed for a goal. Alana Keary, in great form, often had the beating of her marker at right-back and created some great openings.
And after a tweak to the formation the Brewers did get a goal on 61 minutes with right-back Shayla Gisbourne playing a defence-splitting ball for Taylor-Mae KNIGHT to run onto before chipping the Khalsa keeper from 25 yards - a superb finish.
This gave the girls the confidence to push on and it was one-way traffic there on in. And duly in the 88th minute the Brewers got their deserved equaliser.
Maisie Plumb took a quick throw in the opposition half, received the ball back and took on the left-back before pulling back a great cross into the box from the by-line for the onrushing Sommer BUTTON to smash the ball home.
The game finished level - with Albion the better side and the girls coming away full of confidence.
FULL-TIME: SPORTING KHALSA 2-2 BURTON ALBION
Manager Paul Harman said: "It's a fantastic result against a top team. I was proud of the girls for not letting their heads drop after going 2-0 down, undeservedly, and fighting to the end, never giving up and taking the game to the opposition who were expecting all three points.
"I was really happy with the performance of all the girls and especially the debutants in midfield, they controlled the game.
"Next, it’s top of the league Derby County and we need to take this performance and confidence into that game."