Brighton 2 United Women 2

Sunday 05 November 2023 21:00

Manchester United came from behind twice to draw 2-2 away to Brighton & Hove Albion in the WSL on Sunday evening.

A breathless encounter saw the Seagulls take the lead after half an hour through Elisabeth Terland, after a slick passing move. 

Marc Skinner's side forced our way back into the game with little over 10 minutes of the second half to go, courtesy of an excellent Ella Toone strike from the edge of the area. 

Guro Bergsvand looked to give Brighton the win with her late headed goal, but Rachel Williams popped up even later for the Reds to snatch a point at the death. 

Ella Toone's sublime effort pulled us back on level terms for the first time during the game.


Skinner’s side looked to hit the ground running immediately at Broadfield Stadium, coming close to opening the scoring inside the first minute of the game. A teasing ball from Hannah Blundell down the left was the catalyst, forcing Jorelyn Carabali to fire the ball over her own goal and out for a corner, from which we couldn't capitalise.

Former Reds goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley, now starring between the sticks for Brighton, registered her first big save of the encounter just three minutes in when she parried Melvine Malard’s ferocious effort over the bar, after Hinata Miyazawa’s shot from the edge of the area was blocked. 

The Seagulls soon grew into the game and Pauline Bremer almost gave them the lead with a looping effort from the left, which threatened to trouble a stretching Mary Earps, smashing off the crossbar and back out. Moments later, our no.27 came up with a big save to keep out Carabali’s towering header. 

With the Reds regaining control of possession, we surged forward and came close to adding our first of the evening after Malard lofted a pinpoint pass over the top to Galton. Our no.11 was quick to play in Geyse, but her effort was saved by Baggaley before a belated flag was raised for offside. 

Down the other end, and somewhat against the run of play, Melissa Phillips’ side took the lead through the in-form Terland. A flowing move from Brighton saw them carve open the United defence as Maisie Symonds poked the ball into the path of Terland, who had the space to swivel and fire into the bottom corner, beyond Earps. 

The Reds saw out the first half with a flurry of chances, the first of which saw Geyse denied by the woodwork, and was then followed by a sublime Jayde Riviere cross which was met with a header just over the bar from Galton.

Our best chance of the half fell to Millie Turner, who was denied from a few yards out by the Seagulls' shot-stopper, who had also tipped another effort onto the bar mere seconds earlier. Despite our best efforts to get back on level terms, we went in at the interval a goal down. 

Geyse was denied by the woodwork in the first 45.


Chasing the game, the Reds came out into the second half in search of the equaliser, with our first chance after the interval falling to Geyse, but Baggaley was equal to her effort.

On the hour mark, it looked as though the Seagulls had doubled their advantage when second-half substitute Lee Geum-min found Terland over the top with an excellent pass. The young Norwegian was able to fire past Earps into the corner before it was chalked off for offside. 

United continued our pursuit for a leveller, with Geyse once more on the end of a silky move from the Reds, blazing acrobatically over the bar after latching onto Hinata Miyazawa’s header. 

Mary Earps played a crucial role between the sticks.
After a stellar display, Baggaley had demonstrated it was going to take something special to beat her - and so it proved, courtesy of Ella Toone. A tenacious effort from Galton to win back possession paid dividends, dragging the ball back to our no.7, who took her time before guiding the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box. 

Back on level terms, the game was blown wide open. The Seagulls twice came close to a goal in the final 10 minutes, the first a header from Bremer before an audacious long-range volley from Julia Zigiotti Olme was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Earps. After a flurry of chances for the Reds at the other end, one of which saw Rachel Williams hit a post, Brighton looked to have snatched all three points as Guro Bergsvand headed in from a corner, only seconds after another magnificent Earps stop.  

The dramatics weren’t over there, though - with virtually the last kick of the game, United stole in through Williams, who poked home from close range after Katie Zelem's corner was flicked on to the back post. Yet another late strike from our no.28 was enough to maintain our unbeaten start to the domestic campaign.  
Leah Galton in action for the Reds.

Brighton XI: Baggaley; Kullberg, Bergsvand, Thorisdottir, Carabali; Robinson (Sarri 69), Symonds (Losada 56), Zigiotti Olme (Rule 90+7); Haley (Geum-min 45), Terland, Bremer (Pinto 90+7). 

Unused substitutes: Evrard, Pattinson, Hawkesby, Mengwen, Rule. 

Goals: Terland 30; Bergsvand 89.

Bookings: Zigiotti Olme 78. 

United XI: Earps; Riviere, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Toone, Miyazawa (Williams 75); Geyse (Parris 89), Malard (Garcia 75), Galton. 

Unused substitutes: Middleton-Patel, Tullis-Joyce, Evans, Ladd, Naalsund. 

Goals: Toone 78; Williams 90+8.

Bookings: Le Tissier 12; Riviere 57; Zelem 90+7.


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