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Tuesday 03 Sep 2019
Simone Magill and Ashley Hutton on target as Northern Ireland secure first point of campaign

A last-gasp equaliser from Ashley Hutton secured a draw for Northern Ireland away to Wales.

The centre-back marked her 100th appearance for her country with a goal when she pounced to head home after Welsh stopper Laura O'Sullivan spilled a looping free-kick.

Everton striker Simone Magill gave the Kenny Sheils' girls a dream start to their second UEFA Women's Euro 2021 qualifier but goals either side of half time from Angharad James and Kayleigh Green put Wales in the driving seat.

But Hutton, skipper for the night, had the final say at Rodney Parade when her goal handed new boss Shiels his first point of the campaign.

The first chance of the game fell to Northern Ireland's Lauren Wade in the early stages as she ran through one-on-one but failed to trouble O'Sullivan.

Northern Ireland started the better of the two teams and were rewarded on the 10th minute when Magill headed home after a cross was headed back into her path by Sarah McFadden.

Wales levelled after 22 minutes as James' shot took a wicked deflection to wrong-foot Northern Ireland 'keeper Emma Higgins. 

Shiels' side edged possession throughout the first half with his new style of play clearly on show but neither side could create many openings with Durham midfielder Megan Bell shooting over from distance. 

The home side started to take a hold of the game towards the end of the first half with Julie Nelson and Rachel Newborough blocking efforts which were goal bound but the two sides went in level at the break. 

The second half started in similar vein as Demi Vance got on the end of Wade's cross from the left but her effort just clipped the top of the crossbar.

Wales then took the lead with 20 minutes to go as a cross from the right by Rhiannon Roberts found the leaping Green who nodded in from close range.

Substitute Marissa Callaghan would come closest for the away side as her effort from distance left O'Sullivan stranded but the shot bounced back off the crossbar to safety.

Then came the drama as Hutton popped up to head home that crucial equaliser. 

Despite their late setback, Wales top Group C with four points from two games. Northern Ireland are in fourth spot and will already be looking ahead to November's games away to Norway and at home to Wales. 

Northern Ireland: Higgins, Newborough, Holdaway (McKenna), Hutton (C), Nelson, Vance, Wade, McFadden, Furness, Bell, (Callaghan) Magill. Subs: Burns, Flaherty, McCarron, Callaghan, Johnson, Montgomery, Holloway, White, McKenna.

Wales: O'Sullivan, Dykes, Evans, Ingle (C), Roberts, Hughes, Jones, James, Green, Harding, Ladd. Subs: Skinner, Clark, Ward, Green, Estcourt, Nolan, Woodham, Filbey, Wynne, Jones, Powell.