Hope Powell wants Albion to rely on their own efforts in their quest to stay up.

Which is why she was so pleased to see them dig deep for a point at the end of tiring week.

The Seagulls took a point which kept them above their visitors and five clear of bottom-placed Yeovil in the battle to avoid the one WSL relegation spot.

It was not a pretty spectacle. Far from it.

The one real highlight came in only the third minute when ex-Everton forward Aileen Whelan hit the bar.

But Albion were pleasingly solid at the back and looked the more likely to force a win in the later stages.

Powell’s side have still to visit Yeovil but have breathing space after a 2-0 win at Liverpool eight days ago.

That and the midweek trip to Manchester City, she felt, left them feeling “a bit leggy” in yesterday’s second half.

But the point and the shut-out were precious.

“I think it’s still tense,” Albion’s boss told The Argus in relation to the survival battle.

“Yeovil are a decent team, they score goals.

“Liverpool have had a bit of a slide after starting well but I know some of their players are coming back from injury.

“We really want to rely on ourselves to keep in this league and I think today we have relied on ourselves not to lose the game, not to concede points. We have got a point.”

Powell was spot-on in saying her side can play better than this.

But, as the second-half minutes ticked by, it was easy to think back to early-season games at home to Bristol City and Liverpool which followed a similar pattern – until Albion conceded a soft goal to lose 1-0.

Not so this time. A first home clean sheet rarely looked in danger.

Powell said: “I think in the second half of the season you start to understand what you are up against.

“You start to manage yourselves better. You know the opposition a little more.

“Sometimes you have to dig deep and I think we did that.”

Whelan rattled the bar with a terrific effort from around the edge of the box which beat keeper Kirstie Levell.

The home side buzzed around the Everton half and the crowd settled in for a bright contest between two teams who shared a 3-3 draw earlier in the season.

But it did not work out that way.

Everton might have gone ahead either side of half-time in what developed into a very untidy affair as Angharad James and Megan Finnigan shot straight at Marie Hourihan when well placed.

Victoria Williams had to intercept a low cross right in front of her own goal as Everton pushed for a winner.

Albion, looking to get Ini Umotong in behind the back line, became more of an attacking force in the last quarter.

Umotong set up a half chance for Danni Buet, whose shot went straight to the keeper from a tight angle.

But the clean sheet was the priority and, Laura Rafferty made an interception in added time and Fliss Gibbons flung herself at the follow-up shot from Taylor Hinds, it was duly secured.

Albion midfielder Chloe Peplow: said: “We’re happy. We had a tough week.

“We came in wanting to win but to get a draw and a vital point, we are happy with that.

“Our priority was to get the clean sheet and make the gap (to the bottom) bigger.”