Ladies fightback earns point

West Ham United Ladies came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Gillingham in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division on Sunday.

The Gills took the game by storm and could have been four goals clear within the opening 30 minutes had it not been for some excellent goalkeeping from Toni-Anne Wayne at Thurrock FC's Ship Lane stadium.

Unfortunately for the Hammers, however, the visitors' persistence paid off and they took a 2-0 lead by scoring twice in two minutes before the interval. Charlotte Gurr opened the scoring by firing into the corner of the net past Wayne and just seconds later the opportunistic Lauren Williams netted from close-range.

The home side reacted well, though, and responded with a goal of their own just before half-time. With the consent of the referee, Becky Merritt (pictured) took a quick free-kick from 25 yards which flew past the stranded Gills goalkeeper, who was still attempting to build her wall.

West Ham came out for the second half rejuvenated by their goal and it took just under 20 minutes for the Gills to crack under the relentless Hammers pressure. With 26 minutes remaining in the contest Lindsey Morgan brought the sides level with a wonderfully-taken goal. Morgan allowed a long ball to float over her shoulder before lashing a dipping volley into the back of the net.

Emma Thomas almost snatched a late winner when she beat the offside trap but her powerful shot went just the wrong side of the post.

The Ladies' draw means they now trail early pace-setters Millwall Lionesses by eight points, but the Hammers do have a game in-hand on their south London rivals. Julia Setford's side return to action on Sunday, when they travel to Tottenham Hotspur.

West Ham United Ladies: Wayne, Barling, King, Revell, Sullivan, Little, Roache, Morgan, Merritt, Rowland, Thomas
Subs used: Stimson, Lipley-Hinton