Nici Rice’s first game in charge of Sussex saw her side fight back from 3-1 down to hold Essex to a 3-3 draw, in their opening Southern Counties Cup tie at Culver Road.
Despite the six goals, the deadlock was not broken until moments before the interval, when Georgia Box turned in Abigail Fry’s cross to give Essex the lead.
The hosts took just 3 minutes of the second period to level, as Rachel Woods buried a cross from Charley Boswell.
After the hour mark, Essex struck twice in 10 minutes, with Fry restoring their lead before Courtney Clarke got the third.
Ariana Fleischman fired the hosts back into the game with 14 minutes left on the clock, and shortly after substitute Bianca Pilgrim equalised from 30 yards.