Rovers Ladies came from behind to draw 1-1 with Charlton Athletic at Hayes Lane on Sunday afternoon.
A 68th minute penalty from Elise Hughes cancelled out Rachel Newborough’s early spot-kick as a dominate Rovers performance only yielded one point.
Four changes were made to the team with centre-back Hannah Coan coming in for her Rovers debut and Ria Montgomery making her first start of the season.
The visitors started brightly and created the first opportunity when Charlotte Newsham exchanged a one-two with Elise Hughes and struck a low shot that Eartha Cumings had to deal with.
At the other end, Beth Lumsden let fly from the edge of the area but couldn’t find the target.
And it was the home side who broke the deadlock when Montgomery was adjudged to have brought down Elisha Sulola in the area. Newborough stepped up and converted the spot-kick on 14 minutes.
Rovers almost responded straight away as debutant Coan headed Natasha Fenton’s corner on target but the ball was hacked away off the line.
Issy Dean then struck wide on the half-volley after some good build-up play from the Blues, before Emma Doyle saw a shot blocked on the edge of the area.
The home side had their own half chances, with Lumsden’s free-kick deflected wide and Ellie Dorey’s effort landing well wide of target.
However, Rovers were doing the majority of the attacking, but couldn’t find the way through as captain Saffron Jordan had her shot deflected out after Montgomery carried the ball down the right.
Maria Edwards also had two efforts just before the break, the latter a half volley that landed just over the crossbar.
Rovers came out for the second half with renewed vigour as Fenton’s free-kick had to be dealt with before a barrage of pressure followed.
The visitors could have had a penalty early on when Jordan appeared to be taken down by Grace Coombs whilst trying to turn in the area, but the referee waved away the protests.
Soon after, Newsham’s cross was directed towards goal by Jordan but her shot was deflected wide, while substitute Georgia Walters also had an attempt blocked.
Cumings was able to hold Jordan’s attempt from Fenton’s latest corner, before the breakthrough finally came. Newsham got to the ball ahead of the Charlton ‘keeper, who collided into the Rovers full-back.
After the referee pointed to the spot, Hughes stepped up and converted, sending Cumings the wrong way after having to re-take the penalty due to encroachment.
The pressure continued in the final 20 minutes with Walters’ first-time cross-field ball picking out Edwards on the left, who saw her strike deflected into the arms of the ‘keeper.
Rovers’ free-flowing football deserved a second goal but Jordan volleyed narrowly over and when the ball fell out to Richards on the edge of the area, Cumings was able to claim her attempt.
And the Addicks’ ‘keeper had to be there again to save Hughes’ header from Edwards’ cross as the game entered the closing stages.
There was still time for several Rovers chances in stoppage time – Jordan headed off target from another Edwards cross and Fenton’s shot from the edge of the box had to be dealt with by Cumings.
And agonsingly, Walters’ cross-come-shot flashed across goal with it just needed a touch to turn the ball home.
Rovers were forced to settle for a point and next up they welcome Crystal Palace to Bamber Bridge on Sunday 7 February (2pm kick-off).
ROVERS: Brooks; Dean (Fletcher 46), Coan, Richards, Newsham; Fenton, Doyle; Edwards, Hughes (Hodgson 87), Montgomery (Walters 46); Jordan (c).
Unused subs: Bradley, Jukes, McDonald, Embley.
Referee: Amy Barber