Games like this are great preparation for the main season for clubs like Durham. They’re putting themselves up against the some of the best teams about and Durham having to deal with the fact that their opposition are full-time professionals. This result and the one against Everton surely put Durham Women in good stead for the Women’s Championship season. Yesterday, with Easington not having a game, the plan was to do Seaton Carew vs Jarrow FC Reserves. In the end I didn’t bother with a game, having also thought about Wheatley Hill WMC vs Hylton Sports Club. I think that I would have been disappointed if I had went to Seaton Carew with their only being six goals! I was expecting to possibly break my long-standing record of 13 goals if I had went.
Durham Women pegged back to draw against top-tier Liverpool
Durham Women were pegged back to a 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool Women in the Continental Cup on Sunday afternoon.
Sophie Bradley-Auckland put Liverpool ahead with only one minute on the clock, but Emily Roberts equalised for Durham only a minute later.
Roberts’ second came in the 21st minute, and Abi Cottam added comfort to Durham’s lead in the 57th minute.
However, Liverpool rallied and Rinsola Babajide halved the deficit before Courtney Sweetman-Kirk’s late strike ensured the two sides shared the points.
Liverpool went on to win the penalty shootout for a bonus point in controversial style, but it took nothing away from a fine result from Durham.
In an all action start, Liverpool broke the deadlock with just 90 seconds on the clock. An inswinging corner dropped to Bradley-Auckland in the penalty area, and Megan Borthwick was unable to prevent it from crossing the line.
However, Durham’s response was immediate. Zoe Ness’ good work found Sarah Robson and her perfectly weighted ball played Roberts in. The former Doncaster Rovers Belles winger did the rest and the Wildcats were level.
Still within the opening 10 minutes, Amy Rodgers forced a save from Borthwick, before a Christie Murray free-kick clipped the outside of the post on its way wide.
Following a quiet spell, Durham took the lead in the 21st minute. Cottam’s cross was inch perfect, and Roberts latched onto it to cushion a first time volley into the far corner.
Niamh Charles went close as Liverpool looked for a response, as did Babajide but Durham were defending well.
Bradley-Auckland steered an effort over the bar for the visitors in the 36th minute, before Murray fired harmlessly over two minutes later.
Ness was denied what looked a stonewall penalty for the Wildcats with five minutes of the first half remaining, before Charles and Jess Clarke were both denied at the other end.
Liverpool possibly edged the first half, but it was Durham who went into the break ahead.
With the first real chance of the second half, Cottam made it three-one. Kathryn Hill’s hanging cross put it on a tee for Cottam, and her header from six yards gave Anke Preuss no chance.
Now two behind, Liverpool started putting more balls into the penalty area. Despite some of the crosses being very dangerous, Durham were defending well and chances for the Reds were limited.
Laura Coombs tried her luck from long-range in the 64th minute, but it was easy enough for Borthwick.
Another spell of pressure without any penetration came from Liverpool, before they managed to half the deficit in the 71st minute. A superb run from Charles drove through several Durham players and the England U20 international laid it off to fellow England U20 international Babajide. She took aim with a first time curling effort, and despite Borthwick getting a hand on it, she couldn’t keep it out.
Beth Hepple curled a Durham free-kick over the crossbar inside the final quarter of an hour, but Liverpool pulled level in the 87th minute. Charles’ cross found Sweetman-Kirk, and her clever finish pulled the Reds level.
There was to be one chance to snatch a winner, and it came the way of Durham. Roberts was played in and she charged down on goal. A fine save from Preuss was the only thing that prevented Roberts of her hat-trick. Robson rose to meet the resulting corner, but her header darted wide.
The game went to a penalty shootout for a bonus point, and Liverpool came out on top as Bradley-Auckland tucked away Liverpool’s seventh penalty for the win. It didn’t come without controversy though, as Sarah Wilson’s penalty for Durham had clearly crossed the line but the assistant referee said no.
Full-time: Durham Women 3-3 Liverpool FC Women
Next up for me is probably Stockton Town vs Consett on Wednesday night.
Durham Women: Borthwick, Hill, Holmes, Wilson (c), Salicki (Christon, 67′), Robson, Lee (Gears, 55′), Hepple, Roberts, Cottam, Ness
Unused subs: Reid, Knott
Liverpool Women: Preuss, Satara Murray, Bradley-Auckland (c), Matthews, Robe, Coombs, Christie Murray, Rodgers (Daniels, 83′), Charles, Babajide (Sweetman-Kirk, 75′), Clarke (Linnett, 61′)
Unused subs: Kitching, Kearns
Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions
Chips and a can of Coke: £3
Referee: Lucy Oliver