Goals from Amelia Hazard and Ellie Hack helped earn Lewes a point from the Rooks’ first home game of the 2022/23 Women’s Championship season against Southampton on Sunday.
Hazard put Scott Booth’s side in front with a delightful finish into the bottom right-hand corner after quick build-up play from Emily Kraft down the left.
Hack then make it two before the break when rising first to head home from among a crowd of bodies during a well-worked corner routine.
But the Rooks couldn’t hold on in the second half as first Ella Morris and then Laura Rafferty hit back for Saints within seven minutes, to force a draw.
Premier League trophy on show
Paula Howells, Amber Stobbs, Ellie Mason also went close for the Rooks from distance but Lewes couldn’t find the elusive third goal to reclaim the lead.
And at the other end, Megan Collet crushed the crossbar late on to come within inches of snatching all three points for Saints.
The Pan was packed with 1,119 fans in attendance to welcome the Rooks back for the new season, and supporters also had the chance to see the Premier League trophy and meet England icon Fara Williams.
And it was also the first opportunity for the Dripping Pan’s grounds staff to use the new sprinkler system on the newly-laid turf.
‘We deserved the lead’ – Booth
After the game Booth said: “Obviously we were very good in the first half – we looked a real threat, had good energy and deserved the lead when we were 2-0 up at half-time.
“But in the second half, we weren’t able to bring that kind of football into the game at all. That was the main difference.”
Lewes XI: Whitehouse, Mason, Stobbs, Hack, McKenna, Johnson, Howells, Hazard, Dalton, Thompson, Kraft.
Subs used: Copus-Brown (for Hazard, 50′), Longhurst (for Thompson, 69′), Palmer (for Stobbs, 81′)