Lewes kicked off the new Women’s Championship season with a hard-fought goalless draw at Birmingham City on Sunday.
Paula Howells could have won it for the Rooks midway through the second half with a delightful effort from range that was tipped over the crossbar by Brum goalkeeper Lucy Thomas.
Meanwhile, Rooks debutant goalkeeper Sophie Whitehouse was on hand to deny Libby Smith with a low save late on, while Jade Pennock hit the crossbar in stoppage time.
The draw means Lewes get off to a steady start in the 2022/23 campaign, and leaves Rooks boss Scott Booth with plenty to consider heading into our first home game of the season against Southampton next Sunday.
Bright early start
Indeed, Booth handed full debuts to Whitehouse and four other summer recruits: centre-back Amber Stobbs, left winger Nat Johnson, and a new strike partnership of Emily Kraft and Emma Thompson.
Skippered by Ellie Mason, it was a bright start for the Rooks, who pressed from the front throughout the first half, and almost took the lead when Amelia Hazard fired a shot from distance that was pushed wide.
The second half saw Stobbs have an equally promising effort denied by Thomas. But it was Howells’ shot on 60 minutes that could have won it for the visitors. Collecting the ball with her back to goal, the midfielder expertly turned her marker and unleashed an arrowed shot from 40 yards. Only the fingertip of the backpedaling Thomas prevented the ball from clipping the underside of the bar and nestling in the net.
Whitehouse, meanwhile, had to be alert on a fairly quiet afternoon when she blocked Martha Harris’ shot after the full-back had charged into a promising position.
Libby Copus-Brown, Grace Palmer and Josie Longhurst came on in the second half to try and effect the score, but the Rooks were forced to make do with a well-earned point from the trip to St Andrew’s.
Next up is Sunday’s 12:30pm kick off against Southampton at the Dripping Pan. You can still buy Lewes FC tickets for the game, which start at £12 of adults, £8 for concessions and kids go free!
Our famous beach huts have, however, sold out.
Lewes XI: Whitehouse, Hazard, Johnson, McKenna, Mason, Dalton, Howells, Hack, Stobbs, Thompson, Kraft.
Subs used: Longhurst (58′), Copus-Brown (69′), Palmer (69′).