Sunderland began their league cup campaign with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Leeds in blustery conditions at the Hetton Centre.
Two sides overlooked by the FA for the Super League served up a competitive tie but ultimately neither side was able to land the killer blow.
Sunderland, kicking against the wind in the first half, had the better of the opening encounters without creating any chances.
Leeds came to terms with the conditions and took the lead through Chloe Foster after a quarter of an hour. Good build up play around the Sunderland box saw the ball touched back to Foster on the edge of the area and she curled a delicate shot in off the far post.
Shortly afterwards Lucy Bronze surged forward from central defence and laid the ball off to Jordan Nobbs, but her 25 yard shot flew wide.
Leeds, aided by the conditions, had the better of the rest of the first half, but Sunderlands defence held strong and held the visitors at bay.
HT Sunderland 0 Leeds 1
The second half began with Sunderland using the wind to their advantage and pressing Leeds back. On 56 minutes a defence splitting pass by Nobbs put Sophie Williams through on goal but her shot from a difficult angle was easily saved.
The move of the game came on the hour, when a superb passing move involving Demi Stokes, Kelly McDougall, Williams and Natalie Gutteridge released Stokes on the left. She beat her defender easily and floated a cross to Nobbs whose volley unfortunately flew just wide.
Sunderland continued to press and on 70 minutes Nobbs released Williams for a one-on-one with the Leeds keeper. Her early shot beat the keeper but also the cross bar.
The pressure paid off shortly afterwards, when Sunderland were awarded a free kick on the right touchline thirty yards from goal. Bronzes free kick was flicked on at the near post by Stokes, and Abby Holmes bundled the ball home at the far post.
As the conditions eased, the visitors, marshalled by Foster in midfield, came back into the game, and they were awarded a number of dangerous free kicks around the Sunderland box. The best of these saw a long range shot just held on the line by Helen Alderson in goal, with the visitors claiming that the ball had crossed the line.
Despite a long range shot from Nobbs being deflected wide in the last few minutes, both sides will be satisfied with a point from an even encounter.
FT Sunderland 1 Leeds 1
The first League Cup match ends in a draw