Eastern Suburbs Women’s faint premiership hopes remain intact after rescuing a 1-1 draw with Sunshine Coast Women at Heath Park on Saturday night.
Former Perth Glory striker Rosie Sutton scored at the death to cancel out Danielle White’s early opener and keep within touch of The Gap Women.
Despite conceding the late equaliser, Fire improved their record to just one loss in nine matches with only a single fixture remaining before the post-season.
Fire applied the early pressure and were rewarded in the fifth minute when White shot low and hard past Tash Mavrick to make it 1-0.
White’s goal – her second in as many weeks – coaxed Easts into a response, with Chantelle Ryder unleashing a pair of efforts.
Harkana Dixon and Michaela Hatzirodos also looked likely for the hosts but Fire retained their slim advantage at the break.
Tegan Riding next had an opportunity deflected wide as Easts’ chances continued to grow in recognition of their need for points.
The home side remained camped in Fire territory for much of the second half with goalkeeper Katie Offer and defender Marcena Hunter needed to repel mounting pressure.
Jenna McCormick joined the chorus of players to be denied inside the final 10 minutes as Easts’ chances of reclaiming top spot appeared increasingly slim.
However, with the last kick of the game, substitute Rosie Sutton exhibited fine control and calm in front of goal to level matters and keep the title race alive.
Speaking after the match, Easts coach Garrath McPherson explained his mixed feelings.
“It was very nice to make sure they left here with nothing more than a point but at the same time (I’m) very disappointed we probably lacked again the clinical finishing we had earlier in the season,” McPherson said.
Fire defender Cassie Burns commended her team’s 90 minutes.
“I’m so proud of everyone, I think we were really impressive. I don’t think we were expected to do as well as we did,” Burns said.
Eastern Suburbs FC Women 1 (Rosie SUTTON 90’)
Sunshine Coast FC Women 1 (Danielle WHITE 5’)