Albion Women were held to a frustrating draw by Queens Park Rangers at Withdean, in an unconvincing performance by Jay Lovett’s side.A brace from Catherine O’Hagan was not enough to continue a run of five consecutive victories at home, as the Seagulls failed to capitalise on defeats for both title rivals Millwall and Reading.
The Seagulls started the game sluggishly; falling behind when Elly Maggs took advantage of some slack defending to slide the ball home from close-range.
Albion eventually settled and began to put more pressure on the Rangers goal, but were dealt another setback when Lily Agg was forced off injured after 20 minutes.
The first clear-cut chances fell to substitute Kim Stenning, who narrowly failed to connect with Lauren Cheshire’s ball into the box, before Tammy Waine headed over after meeting Kirsty Barton’s corner.
But O’Hagan brought parity to the scoreline right on half-time, as her superb looping header rose over keeper Sophie Cheadle into the net.
O’Hagan struck again two minutes after the restart, ending a lovely Albion move by slotting in Cherelle Khassal’s cross at the far-post to give Lovett’s side the lead.
The Hoops then ventured forward in search of the equaliser, as Kim Meadows’s angled shot went narrowly wide of Lucy Mangan’s goal.
But Albion also had a number of chances to secure the three points; some good link-up play involving O’Hagan and Khassal saw the latter’s shot tipped over the bar by Cheadle, before Stenning shot wide after meeting Charlotte Gurr’s ball into the box.
The Seagulls came to rue those missed opportunities as Meadows struck at the far-post with twenty minutes left on the clock; bringing the league’s bottom club back on level terms.
QPR could have even grabbed the three points themselves, but Katie O’Leary fired her shot straight at Mangan despite being unmarked inside the box.
It was a disappointing result which felt more like a defeat, with manager Lovett admitting that his side did not play at their best on the day.
He told, “It’s very frustrating, these are games we need to win, especially as results went our way. As a collective unit we didn’t play the free-flowing football we can despite creating some good chances.
“At the start of the second-half we scored a well-worked goal, but after that we took our foot off the gas and conceded the equaliser. It’s a shame, but we’ll pick ourselves up and we’ll go again.”
Albion: Mangan (GK); Cheshire, Ryan (c), Waine, Boswell; Barton, Perry, Gurr (Rabson 83); O’Hagan, Agg (Stenning 19), Khassal. Subs not used: James, Somes.

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