Whelan headed home just before the break in an exciting 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United.

Albion were the better side and would have won with a bit more composure in front of goal.

They went behind after just 15 seconds when a deflected cross looped on to the inside of the far post, rebounded off goalkeeper Megan Walsh and bounced into the net.

The hosts gradually grew into the game as Whelan shot wide and Lea Le Garrec had a long-range effort held.

The equaliser came right on half-time.

Kirsty Barton’s cross from the Albion right was headed on by Kayleigh Green and nodded in from almost on the line by Whelan.

United keeper Mary Earps saved a low shot from Green early in the second half after a nice pass from Le Garrec.

Earps produced a much better save low to her left on 75 minutes after clever work from Green teed up Amanda Nilden, who should probably have left the keeper with no chance.

Nilden drilled a late chance narrowly over and Green miskicked after Ini Umotong teed her up.

But United thought they should have had a penalty for handball in added time when a shot was blocked in a scramble.

Albion manager Hope Powell said: “It’s a very good point although I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t win the game.

“It was freak start but we didn’t let it un-nerve us too much.

“As the game went on, we got better and better.”

Albion: Walsh; Barton, Kerkdijk (Williams 80) Le Tissier, Gibbons; Bowman, Connolly; Le Garrec (Umotong 80), Nilden, Whelan; Green.