Lincoln Ladies 1-1 Arsenal
The FA WSL
Wednesday 15 March 2013
Live on ESPN
Lincoln Ladies boss Rick Passmoor admitted he was thrilled to come away with a point despite Steph Houghton’s 90th-minute equaliser for Arsenal.
Sincil Bank witnessed a remarkable finish to the WSL clash which saw Emily Roberts give the Lady Imps the lead before Houghton hammered home a leveller from 25 yards just seconds later.
But having been on the back foot for much of the contest, Passmoor was pleased to earn a point against a star-studded Gunners side.
He said: “If you look at the game we’re delighted with a point.
“We tried to make it tough for the opposition. We were up against world class international players.
“We’ve now played against the best two teams over the last couple of years, Birmingham and Arsenal, and made it difficult for them.”
Opposite number Shelley Kerr was delighted with her side’s overall display, if not their finishing.
The Scot added: “On another day we would have scored seven goals. We created so many chances in the game.
“When you don’t take your chances, it can be your downfall and that’s been the story so far for us this season.
“But the pleasing thing was the way we played. I thought we were excellent. We played some great football and created many, many chances.”
In front of noisy crowd and the ESPN cameras, Houghton had the first shot at goal, but her long range effort curled the wrong side of the post.
Lincoln responded with Jess Clarke testing Arsenal stopper Emma Byrne, who held a ball which bounced awkwardly in front of her.
But there was more concern for the home side when Houghton forced Karen Bardsley into a smart save before Imps midfielder Sophie Walton headed a dangerous cross narrowly over her own bar.
When Arsenal attacked again Ellen White should have done better when she broke into the box, but dragged her effort wide. Kim Little was next to go close, but after bursting into the box she dallied, allowing Bardsley to save bravely at her feet.
The second half came to life on the hour mark when Arsenal broke following a Lincoln corner. Gilly Flaherty dribbled more than half the length of the pitch before testing Bardsley, who tipped the ball over the bar.
The Gunners continued to pile forward and Gemma Davison came within inches of breaking the deadlock when her angled drive took a deflection and flew agonisingly wide.
However, as the match entered the closing stages the hosts began to threaten.
Roberts was almost presented with an open goal following a mix-up in the Arsenal defence before Clarke took a tumble in the box under a challenge from Flaherty, but the referee waved play on.
But back came the Gunners, who wasted the best chance of the night in the 79th minute. Houghton broke into box and set up White, who had just Bardsley to beat but shot wide.
Then, with 89 minutes on the clock, Lincoln remarkably took the lead as Roberts coolly rounded Byrne before tapping into an empty net.
However, the home side were denied a famous victory seconds later when Houghton unleashed a stunning effort from 25 yards which gave Bardsley no chance as it flew into the top corner.
In Wednesday's other game, Everton and Birmingham played out a 0-0 draw.
Bardsley, Turner, Bradley, Stoney, Martha Harris, Walton, Allen, Megan Harris (Horwood 73), Roberts, Cantrell, Clarke.
Substitutes not used Draycott, Sargeant, Kay.
Byrne, Scott, Flaherty, Grant, Beattie, Little, Nobbs, Carter, Davison, White, Carter.
Substitutes not used Tracy, Ludlow, Yankey, Spencer, Bailey, Bruton, Bragg.
Referee Ian Dudley