City fight back twice to earn draw on the roadExeter City Ladies came away from Forest Green Rovers with a creditable 2-2 draw against a side that remain unbeaten so far in the league season.
With Exeter missing a number of key players, Hollie Stone and Emily Angus were given full debuts for the visitors.
The game was well-contested but the hosts were creating more of the opportunities. A good piece of interplay earned Rovers the opener in the 35th minute, which was finished coolly.
Newly appointed Ladies manager Gareth Young asked the Exeter team to be more competitive and force errors in the second period, and pushed on the two wide midfielders into attack. The formation was switched from a 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3, and the bold switch seemed to help Exeter to force the issue.
City levelled soon after the interval when a through-ball from Helen Kukor split the home defence, allowing Hollie Stone to slot past the onrushing goalkeeper inside the box.
Forest Green continued to dominate though and good defending, wasteful finishing and fine saves from Carley Barber kept the scores level. Barber was breached at the near post on 70 minutes after the City defence was split open.
Assistant manager Maxine Coupe was a late change in an unfamiliar outfield position, and soon after Exeter were level. Helen Kukor’s corner in the 85th minute was flicked on at the near post by Catherine Wright and headed in at the far stick by Lola Garcia Sanchez – who got a thump and a black eye in the process for the City cause, but was able and willing to continue.
City saw out a hard-fought draw, making it five games without defeat ahead of the FA Plate fixture against St Nicholas.