West Ham United Ladies showed great resilience to earn a 1-1 draw at FA Women's Premier League Southern Division leaders Gillingham on Sunday.
Substitute Cherelle Albert scored the Hammers' goal as they came from behind to collect a point in soaking wet conditions at Chatham Town FC.
Gillingham started the better, pushing the Hammers back and limiting the visitors to counter-attacks which repeatedly broke down before threatening the home goalkeeper.
Toni-Anne Wayne, meanwhile, was kept busy in the West Ham goal having to make a number of fine saves, especially one from a direct free-kick drilled in towards the top left-hand corner that saw her push the ball to safety.
The unbeaten home side continued to threaten, but defenders Hayley West and Sophie Reed stood firm until the break.
Gillingham, however, finally broke the deadlock in the first minute of the second half. The Gills were quicker to get into their stride after the break and it was a high looping header that sailed over Wayne and into the far corner of the net.
The leaders threw everything at the Hammers to try to extend their lead, but West Ham showed admirable spirit and organisation to keep their opponents at bay.
As the second half wore on, West Ham manager Mark Saunderson made changes, adding more firepower up front as he looked to find a way back into the game. Among those introduced was Albert.
On 83 minutes with no apparent threat on the Gillingham goal, Albert collected the ball some 30 yards out and thundered a long-range shot into the back of the net without the goalkeeper moving.
With heavy rain falling, Gillingham responded by bombarding the Hammers penalty area in the final minutes, but Saunderson's side held on to collect a well-deserved and hard-fought point.
West Ham return to action on Sunday 27 October, when they make the trip to Havant and Waterlooville FC to take on Portsmouth Ladies.
Ladies: Wayne, Kelly (Lipley-Hinton 70), King, West, Reed (Masters 80), Morgan, Mellors, Blanchflower, Crinean (Albert 63), Merritt, Skillen
Sub not used: Parlane
It was a perfect weekend for West Ham United Ladies' junior sides, with the U15s, U13s and U11s all enjoying victories in the Essex County Girls League.
The table-topping U15s scored a 5-1 victory at Tigers Black Socks in Romford to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.
The U13s also made it four wins out of four with a 13-0 victory at Hutton. Sophie Kelly scored four, with Kelly Wealthall and Mia Seeley both bagging hat-tricks and Hannah Landen (two) and Poppy Binding also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Finally, the U11s celebrated their fourth straight victory to start the season, in the shape of a 4-0 win at Dagenham United Girls. Lucy Brewster (two), Leigha Bradding-Butler and Holly Hutson were on target.