This game today was my 52nd game of the season. It was the 11th of November last season when I reached my 52nd game of the season and that puts me 13 games behind where I was at this point last season. Exactly a year ago today, I saw Easington Colliery beat Willington 4-0 in Northern League Division Two. It’s over three years since I’ve last watched Durham lay Liverpool and today was a sign of the progression they’ve made. Liverpool are full of top international players and Durham held them to a 0-0 draw today. Three years ago, Liverpool put seven past them in the same competition. After a reasonably quiet week last week, this week is likely to be another quiet one. I’ll be at a game on Tuesday night; probably either Sunderland RCA or Ryhope CW. Other than that, that’ll probably be it for midweek.
Durham Women claim point against Liverpool in Continental Cup
Durham Women claimed an impressive point in a 0-0 draw with WSL1 outfit Liverpool Ladies on Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool went on to claim an extra point from the penalty shootout, but the Wildcats were delighted to keep a clean sheet against the Reds.
Playing against England internationals such as Alex Greenwood, Gemma Bonner, Casey Stoney, Siobhan Chamberlain and Jess Clarke, the Wildcats were on the back foot for the majority of the game but fought hard for a very creditable point.
Liverpool started well and created a chance within the opening two minutes as Ashley Hodson found room to shoot but Helen Alderson palmed her effort. The rebound fell the way of Tash Harding but she couldn’t keep her effort down.
Only two minutes later, the visitors won a corner which dropped to Bonner at the near post but she could only stab wide.
Durham created their first chance with almost 10 minutes played. Rachel Lee picked out Beth Hepple who wriggled into space but her tame effort was saved by Chamberlain.
The opening quarter of an hour was very open with chances coming at both ends. Harding couldn’t finish after rounding Alderson in the 13th minute before Durham went close seconds later at the other end. Lee’s through ball found Gears and she was just about to pull the trigger when a strong challenge from Satara Murray prevented her.
As Liverpool continued to search for an opening goal, both Greenwood and Bonner went close before Alderson prevented Caroline Weir from long-range in the 21st minute.
In the 27th minute, Hepple, Ness and Gears combined well to give the latter a shooting opportunity but her effort darted narrowly wide.
Seven minutes before half-time, Niamh Charles did well to cut in from the left but her long-range drive failed to trouble Alderson was comfortably saved.
The visitors were on top, but they didn’t look their usual selves in front of goal. As the first half came to an end, Greenwood blasted an effort not too far wide of the far post but that was as close as the Merseyside outfit got in the first half.
Alike the first half, Liverpool started brightly in the second half. A couple of corners for the Reds came to nothing before Greenwood’s cross-cum-shot in the 56th minute clipped the crossbar on its way over.
Alderson was forced into another save to prevent Weir’s free-kick on the hour mark before substitute Beth England blazed over to waste a superb opportunity for Liverpool.
Greenwood tested Alderson again with a 30-yard free-kick but the former Sunderland stopper was equal to it.
As Liverpool continued to dominate proceedings, further chances fell the way of Harding and Weir.
Laura Coombs was next to try her luck quarter of an hour from time but her effort failed to find the target.
What was probably Alderson’s biggest save of the afternoon prevented Charles with 10 minutes to play. Coombs’ elegant through ball played Charles in but Alderson made herself big and saved well.
As the game came to an end, Alderson was forced into further saves to prevent Clarke and Charles and it was a combination of resilient defending and fine goalkeeping that secured Durham their draw.
As per competition rules, a penalty shootout followed for a bonus point. Durham were on top for much of the shootout and were ahead three times. After seven penalties each, the score was level at 4-4 with Kathryn Hill, Sarah Wilson, Nicola Worthington and Jordan Atkinson all finding the net for the Wildcats. Coombs, Beth England, Harding and Stoney all slotted home for Liverpool and it came down to the eighth round of penalties. Gears stepped up for Durham but Chamberlain saved well and Weir smashed home Liverpool’s penalty meaning they took the extra point.
Full-time: Durham Women 0-0 Liverpool Ladies (Liverpool Ladies win 5-4 on penalties)
Next up for me is either Sunderland RCA vs West Auckland Town or Ryhope CW vs Penrith on Tuesday.
Durham Women: Alderson, Johnson, Christon, Wilson (c), Hill, Lee (Cottam, 67′), Briggs, Hepple, Gears, Roberts (Worthington, 67′), Ness (Atkinson, 81′)
Unused subs: Borthwick, Jennings
Liverpool Ladies: Chamberlain, Murray (Clarke, 81′) (Johnson, 85′), Stoney, Bonner (c), Greenwood, Hodson (England, 57′), Coombs, Ingle, Charles, Weir, Harding
Unused subs: Harris, Longhurst, Flaherty, Fletcher
Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions
Referee: Helen Byrne