Two goals from skipper Kelly Newton, both from corners, earned Lewes Ladies a share of the spoils in a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at a cold and blustery Harlow Town FC.
The Rookettes had to come from behind and would have returned with all three points but for the Spurs keeper making a superb save from Jodie Botterill in the dying seconds.
In a game neither side could afford to lose, a draw seemed a fair result, although both had chances to seal victory.
A rather scrappy but entertaining first half saw end-to-end action, with both teams carving out chances. Naomi Cole went close on a couple of occasions but couldn’t get her shots in either side of the Spurs keeper.
Lewes played on the counter but were a little too deep at times, with Spurs enjoying more of the possession but not able to capitalise. There were some full-blooded challenges from both midfield units as Lewes started to work their way into the game, with both sides looking impatient in the final third.
However, on the half hour Lewes earned themselves a corner. Botterill whipped it in where a grounded Vicky Elcome poke the ball into the path of Newton, who slotted the ball in against the run of play from 10 yards out.
Spurs could have equalised just before half time but blasted over an empty goal.
The second half saw Lewes make a change, with Kerry Sauvage replacing the virus-stricken Jenny Chiumento. The wind was with the Rookettes this half, and Cole took advantage with a few efforts from distance but couldn’t quite test the Spurs keeper.
Spurs continued to carve out good chances in the first period and both Elcome and Lel Smith defended bravely at times. However, a thundering Bianca Baptiste volley from 16 yards out gave Michelle Beazley no chance for the equaliser.
A horrible five-minute spell for Lewes when they failed to clear their lines saw Spurs take the lead, when Sam Pittuck scrambled the ball into the net on 58 minutes.
The sleet and wind continued to slam down as Lewes contested more decisions and began to press a little harder and further into the Spurs half, Spurs now looking to play on the counter and happy to soak up pressure.
Lewes came close again with a Cole free kick, driven in at the near post which saw the keeper push it around the post. Lewes were then denied a penalty on 75 minutes as they continued to pile on the pressure. A change in formation on 80 minutes saw Georgia Bridges replace Tash Wells as the visitors looked to get something from this game with three up top.
On 89 minutes Botterill delivered another quality set piece which was met by captain Newton on the half volley at the back post to seal a well-earned point.
Lewes could have won it in the dying seconds but for a superb save from the Spurs keeper when a brilliantly drilled cross from Bridges found Botterill.
MVP: Kelly Newton
The Rookettes’ next match is the semi-final of Sussex Cup against Crawley at Lewes FC. Kick off is 3pm.