Sunderland Women continued their unbeaten start to the season with a hard-fought point over Birmingham City Women at St. Andrew’s.
Mary McAteer opened the scoring for the Lasses in the 17th minute, but Birmingham’s Christie Harrison-Murray equalised 77 minutes in.
Mel Reay made one change from the side that beat Watford at Eppleton last weekend, with Ellen Jones coming into the side over Grace Ede.
The Lasses almost replicated their first goal in the previous fixture, with the corner whipped to the back post for Natasha Fenton, but her header went wide.
The Black Cats broke the deadlock after superb combination play down the right, with Ejupi and Jessica Brown playing a one-two – the latter fizzed in a low cross to the front post, with McAteer glancing a first-time shot past the goalkeeper.
Minutes later Brown almost doubled our lead, controlling the ball in the box and shooting towards the far corner, but her effort was cleared off the line by Neve Herron.
After a positive spell from Sunderland, Birmingham grew into the game, and 32 minutes in, Ellie Mason’s shot took a big deflection and rattled the top of the crossbar.
The hosts threatened again, with Claudia Moan tipping a free-kick over the bar.
The first minute of the second half saw the Lasses win the ball back high up, and Ejupi was played through, but her shot went just wide of the post.
Moan was called into action again in the 48th minute, pulling off a sublime diving save to deny Katie Dungate from range.
The home side found the leveller after Dungate’s cut-back found Harrison-Murray, who fired into the back of the net.
The Lasses had a huge opportunity to win it at the death with Ellen Jones whipping a brilliant cross in from the left, but nobody could connect.
Mel Reay's side have a busy week coming up with Sheffield United Women up next on the road in the Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday evening, before hosting Reading in the league next Sunday.
SAFC Women: Moan, Brown, Goddard, Westrup, Griffiths, Fenton, Kitching, Dear (Rouse 74’), McAteer (Watson 74’), Jones, Ejupi (Scarr 85’)
Subs not used: Borthwick, Beer, McInnes, McCatty, Ede.