Loughborough Students 1, Ben Rhydding 1
With their former coach James Ross looking on from the opposition’s camp, Ben Rhydding had most of the possession in the first half of this Investec Women's North Conference match and pressed Loughborough well, keeping them in their own half.
A few early chances went to new forward Poppy Church, and also Rachel Doherty in the opening ten minutes.
As the match progressed, most of the play took place in midfield, with the odd flurry into the attacking D from both teams.
Rhydding failed to convert any of their four penalty corners, while, on the stroke of half-time, Loughborough won back-to-back penalty corners.
However, one shot went well wide and the other was cleared by keeper Charlotte Smith.
In the second half, Loughborough increased their numbers in midfield to match that of Rhydding.
The hosts also improved their passing and possession and, for a ten-minute spell, had the ball in Rhydding’s defensive half.
However, Rhydding defended well, with Rachelle le Bourdon and Tanisha Janzen being solid at the back.
But Loughborough took the lead via a quick breakaway down their right. Some skilful play by their midfield opened up a space for the centre forward in the D, who shot the ball past Smith.
With only seven minutes left, Rhydding started attacking more, using the wide areas and bringing Sarah Bell and Jess Purvis into play.
This created a few chances on goal for Kate Hesketh and Rebecca Dallas, and Hesketh won a vital penalty corner as the final whistle neared.
Dallas shot from the top of the D but it was saved by the Loughborough keeper.
However, the ball, still in the D, fell straight into the path of Rhydding defender Helen Fisher, who fired the ball home to level the scores and earn a well-deserved point for the Ilkley side.
On Saturday, Rhydding host Brooklands Poynton (2pm).