Misfortunes on the road persisted in the North-East coast, as Motherwell failed to capitalise on their dominance in possession and countless goalscoring opportunities, with Montrose netting a late equaliser to deny the women of steel their first away victory of the 2023/24 campaign at Links Park on Sunday.
Chelsie Watson netted her first goal of the campaign, pouncing on a dangerous Kayla Jardine corner late into the second half, as Motherwell looked certain to finally earn their rewards from performances in recent weeks, but a late Louise Anna Brown penalty kick restored a point for the hosts.
Head Coach, Paul Brownlie made two changes from the side that suffered a harsh defeat to Aberdeen prior to the international break, with Katie Rice and Laura McCartney returning to the starting XI, as Tara McGonigle and Sarah Gibb settled for a place on the bench.
Seeking to redeem themselves following their Sky Sports Cup exit at Links Park in October, Motherwell started firmly on the front foot and almost netted the opener within the opening exchanges.
Amy Anderson’s chipped through ball fell kindly to the feet of Bailley Collins who fired a low effort to the left of Montrose stopper Lauren Perry, who reacted well to deny the forward before gathering the follow-up effort from Jardine.
Motherwell continued to flood the hosts penalty area, with Laura McCartney’s drilled delivery flashing across the face of goal, but Carla Boyce’s resulting finish narrowly evaded the near post.
The women of steel’s composure in the final third failed to materialise, as the half drew to a close, with countless efforts evading the Montrose goal.
As the second half resumed, Jardine almost broke the deadlock after latching onto Watson’s floated delivery, firing a precise volley towards the bottom-right corner, but Perry again reacted well to produce a smart stop.
Motherwell’s frustrations in-front of goal seemed destined to persist as the full-time whistle neared, but with 10-minutes remaining, the visitors finally found the breakthrough.
Jardine’s floated delivery from the left sailed invitingly into the path of Watson deep into the Montrose penalty area, and the towering defender powered home a precise header for her first goal of the campaign and establishing the slimmest of margins to defend in the final few minutes.
However, Motherwell’s disappointment and frustrations on the road were compounded, as Montrose secured a penalty in stoppage time, as Charlotte Gammie fell theatrically under the challenge of Collins. Brown stepped up, and despite Emily Mutch guessing the correct way, the strikers low effort narrowly creeped into the bottom-right corner.
Motherwell will return home next weekend, as Partick Thistle travel to East Kilbride in what will be a vital encounter for the women of steel, as they seek to turn around their recent run of form.