Aston Villa Ladies saw out a hard-fought battle in the Boldmere rain to secure a point against Durham.
Villa Ladies started off in patient style, picky in the press and tinkering with maneouvers around the box. Durham, played fast through the wings and pumped the ball into the penalty area.
Many times did Sian Rogers in the Villa goal have to claim or punch a flying ball away to safety. On one occasion, another heroine had to step up to the plate, and Villa's blushes were spared when Alison Hall punted the ball off the line after a spell of Durham-created chaos in the box.
Hall went from strength to strength and got on the end of an excellent Villa move that almost gave Villa the lead. After moving the ball to the edge of the box, Villa passed wide and allowed a cross to meet a stacked box. Hall rose to head home, but Durham's keeper was up to the task and claimed the ball.
Villa came close and pushed up the tempo as the first half closed. Kerri Welsh was played in, but had her shot saved shortly after she caned the woodwork following a corner.
Villa's second-half started off in similar fashion, with a touch evading Welsh in the box after Elisha N'Dow played a dangerous cross into the box. Of course, this mirror also meant that Sian Rogers would have to be on hand to provide a decent save to keep Villa level - and she did just that. She was beaten shortly after, but the ball bounced off the underside of the crossbar and back into play.
A stodgy final third spilled open for Villa, who agonisingly came close not once, but twice, to opening the game up. Luck on this occasion, would be against them.
However, it was a point well earned, and AVLFC will move forward with a bit of optimism.