Ruby Mace scored an injury time equaliser to rescue a point for Birmingham City as they drew 2-2 with West Ham United at The Chigwell Construction Stadium this evening.
Emily Murphy’s strike handed the visitors the lead after only nine minutes before goals from Emily van Egmond and Katerina Svitkova turned the game in The Hammers’ favour. Olli Harder’s side looked set to end their losing streak until Mace found an equaliser for her side, as she volleyed beyond Courtney Brosnan at the far post deep into injury time.
Harder opted to field an unchanged side from West Ham United’s previous game, in which they lost 2-0 to Chelsea a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile, Carla Ward made three changes to her Birmingham City side that lost 4-0 to Everton last week with Emily Murphy, Lucy Whipp and Georgia Brougham all coming in to replace Harriet Scott, Mollie Green and Emma Kelly.
West Ham United started the game as the stronger side with Van Egmond going close. Her smart header was kept out by the palms of Hannah Hampton, following good play down the right by Cecilie Kvamme.
Birmingham City took the lead against the run of play after nine minutes through Murphy, who scored her first league goal of the season. She slotted home from close range after getting onto the rebound of a blocked Claudia Walker shot, who was originally picked out from a smart Sarah Mayling corner.
The visitors could have doubled their lead minutes later but midfielder Ruesha Littlejohn fired over from 20 yards out with a dangerous dipping volley.
The hosts then had a brilliant chance to level the score on the half-hour mark but Svitkova hit a weak free-kick straight at Hampton, not troubling the young goalkeeper.
West Ham United found their equaliser through Van Egmond within minutes of restarting the second half. She fired home from close range following a brilliant cross from Gilly Flaherty which Hampton didn’t claim, having rushed off her line to deal with the delivery.
The goal lifted the home side’s spirits and Martha Thomas had two chances to give her side the lead, neither of which she could finish. She first fired wide of Hampton’s right hand post with a low left-footed curling effort before she found herself clear through on goal, but could only fire at the feet of the young English keeper.
The intense pressure paid off for the home side when Svitkova handed West Ham United the lead after 73 minutes. She superbly fired across goal following a lay-off, as the Czech Republic international scored her second league goal of the season.
Against the run of play, Birmingham City found a late equaliser in the final minute of second half injury time when Mace volleyed home at the far post following another brilliant cross by Mayling.
West Ham United will be disappointed that they didn’t record all three points but the draw sees them move off the bottom of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League table as they climb to 11th.
Birmingham City’s run of league games without a win extends to eight but they remain ninth in the table. The Blues will want to put an end to that run and will take confidence into their next game from tonight’s performance. Ward’s side take on Bristol City in their next match in 11 days’ time.