The Northampton Town Football and Education Programme Women’s squad drew 1-1 at home to Billericay Town in the National Football Youth League South Premier Women on Wednesday afternoon.
The Cobblers dominated the opening stages and took an early lead when Mia Richards’ effort from Afrika de Villiers’ cross was saved at close-range and Ellie Barker headed in the rebound.
Richards found Alex Dicks with a lofted through ball within a minute of the restart, but the forward’s first-time strike went wide.
She had a shot from a tight angle blocked by the ‘keeper and half-volleyed off target before the midpoint of the first period.
Billericay equalised against the run of play soon after when Iona Smith saved one-on-one, Ruby Heselden’s blocked the follow-up and an attacker lobbed the loose ball into the roof of the net.
The visitors ended the first half on top and created the first clear-cut chance of the second, Cobblers captain Heselden clearing off the line before Maddie Carter removed the danger.
The contest became tight and tense in the second period, the Cobblers threatening again going into the final quarter-of-an-hour. Richards played Dicks through with a side-footed pass, but the ’keeper rushed off her line to deny the forward as she attempted to round her.
Barker found Dicks with a similar pass a few minutes later, but this time a defender recovered to tackle the forward once her first touch took the ball round the ‘keeper.
The Cobblers came inches from a late winner twice in added time, substitute Cassidy Flynn reaching a loose ball following a corner and shooting wide and Illana Stelfox curling a first-time effort agonisingly across the face of goal.
Cobblers: Iona Smith, Remi Martin, Maddie Carter, Afrika de Villiers, Mia Richards, Ruby Heselden, Ruby Oxley, Ellie Barker, Keeley Jackson, Illana Stelfox, Alex Dicks
Substitutes: Cassidy Flynn, Sophia Tennent, Lauren Hewitt, Mia Paradise