Women's Report: Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Saints


Southampton FC Women were held to a draw as Blackburn Rovers hit late in the second half.

A dominant first half performance from Saints saw them do everything but hit the back of the net.

Katie Wilkinson hit first for the visitors in the second half, before a set piece goal from Saffron Jordan put things level at the death.

Saints were the brighter of the two teams out of the blocks, creating a number of chances which came agonisingly close in the first 15 minutes.

First, Katie Wilkinson was unlucky to see her collected by Shannell Salgado in the opening five minutes. An Ella Morris drive down the right hand side saw her able to cut back to Wilkinson, who took her shot from a difficult angle first time, seeing it drop into the Rovers’ keeper’s gloves.

It wasn’t long until she had another chance though. Again, getting on the end of a Morris ball across the box. Sliding in, the ball got caught between her feet, simultaneously taking the sting out of her shot, and sending it dribbling wide.

Beth Lumsden was next to go close for the dominating Saints, as some neat play saw the number 10 cut across the edge of the box and send her strike just past the second post.

Less that a minute later, it was once again Lumsden who found herself with a golden opportunity, as Lucia Kendall looped a ball towards the back post, only to see the volleyed shot sail wide.

The elements were not on the side of either team as the half wore on, torrential rain beating down onto a sodden pitch.

There was a glimpse of quality despite the conditions in the 27th minute, as Wilkinson latched onto a ball just inside the box, opting to go it alone. Her powerful shot looked destined for the top of the net, but a fingertips save by Salgado kept things at 0-0.

Rovers grew into the closing stages of the first half, with Kayla Rendell making an important looking stop in a one-on-one which ended up being offside for the home side, before a barrage of corners were defended well by Saints.

Neither side could break the deadlock before the break; 0-0 at half time.

Kayla Rendell was called into action first out of the two keepers in the second half, as a Rovers corner was headed down towards the goal line. The keeper, just off international duty with England Women’s U23s got down well to hold the shot.

Rovers looked up for the fight, with the first five minutes of the second half passing with the majority of possession in the grips of the home side.

However, Saints have a knack of making something from nothing.

Some patient play in the middle of the park with Leeta Rutherford and Lucia Kendall saw the ball farmed out to the left-hand side, with a through ball slipped down the park for Lumsden. With her strike partner Wilkinson poised in the middle of the box, she cut back and Wilkinson made no mistake in pounding a shot into the top of the net.

Rovers began to press higher up the pitch following the goal but failed to carve out any real opportunities.

With the pitch getting heavier as the match went on, Marieanne Spacey-Cale made her first change of the game in the 71st minute, bringing on Lexi Lloyd-Smith to replace Pusey in the attacking unit.

Rovers were gifted an opportunity in the 83rd minute, as Morris was adjudged to have fouled her man just outside the box.

A curled delivery towards the back post proved too much to handle, and Rovers’ top goalscorer Saffron Jordan made no mistake in slamming the ball into the top of the net from close range.

With little time to salvage their lead, Saints threw everything into attack, but despite camping high in the Rovers’ half, the goal didn’t come.

A point on the road, and back to Continental Cup action at St Mary’s next.