I’m not used to watching Durham Women lose! Last time I saw the Wildcats lose was over nine months ago against Doncaster Rovers Belles, and you have to go back to October 2016 for the time before that when I saw them lose. Durham will certainly be disappointed with losing this game today, and they’ll feel as though these are the sort of games they need to win if they’re to keep up with the likes of Manchester United. The coming week will see me take in two midweek games. Tomorrow night, I’ll be at Sunderland U23s vs Middlesbrough U23s at Eppleton CW and then I’ll be at Sunderland vs Barnsley on Tuesday night. I’m only going to that game as I’ve been invited into the press box with Uni. As for next Saturday, I may go to Sporting Khalsa! Yes, very random but Easington don’t have a game so I may head to Sporting Khalsa’s FA Vase game with Katie Wallace and Lee Stewart.
Leicester condemn Durham to first defeat of season
Leicester City Women condemned Durham Women to their first defeat of the season with an impressive 0-2 win at New Ferens Park on Sunday afternoon.
Nicole Nymoen put Leicester ahead in the seventh minute, and that lead was doubled through Serena Fletcher 12 minutes later.
Durham dominated most of the game, and missed a penalty through Beth Hepple, but it wasn’t to be as Leicester claimed the points.
Durham started well and Zoe Ness had an effort saved by Demi Lambourne within the opening three minutes.
Nicki Gears rose highest to meet the resulting corner, but her header was too high.
However, with their first real attack, Leicester broke the deadlock. A loose pass in the centre of the park gifted Leicester possession and the ball was worked to Ella Franklin-Fraiture whose cross found the unmarked Nymoen at the back post and her effort gave Hannah Reid no chance.
As Durham looked for a response, Hepple fired narrowly wide, before Lambourne’s save prevented Gears.
And, with shy of 20 minutes played, Leicester doubled their lead. The ball was moved around to find Fletcher whose 20-yard effort bounced in front of Reid before sneaking past the Durham stopper and into the net.
Durham continued to look the brighter, and Emily Roberts was denied by Lambourne’s save before Gears’ rebound was crucially blocked.
Becky Salicki then headed over for the Wildcats, before Holly Morgan’s interception prevented Ness of a simple finish.
The pace of the game was slowed by referee Shane Sugden awarding some soft free-kicks for both sides, and that didn’t help Durham as they looked to build momentum.
Durham went into the break two goals down, but the Wildcats knew there was plenty of time to put it right into the second half.
Following the break, Durham created a chance within the opening minute. Gears turned and drilled an effort from distance, but Lambourne was able to save.
Lisa Robertson then fired over for Durham, before numerous successive corners came to nothing.
Abby Holmes was next to try her luck for Durham, but her effort from 20 yards was narrowly wide.
Leicester somehow survived a scramble in the 66th minute. Ness, Holmes and Hepple all had efforts from within 12 yards, but each of them was blocked as Leicester clung onto their clean sheet.
Rachel Lee then fired narrowly over, and by this point, Leicester were looking to kill the game off by slowing everything down.
Holmes and Lee had further chances for Durham, before a penalty gave the Wildcats a great opportunity as Roberts was fouled. Hepple took responsibility, but her effort didn’t fully find the corner and Lambourne guessed correctly to save.
A missed penalty summed up Durham’s afternoon really.
An inspired Lambourne prevented Roberts and Ness as time wore on.
It proved to be one of those days for Durham as the ball just wouldn’t go in the net.
Full-time: Durham Women 0-2 Leicester City Women
Next up for me is Sunderland U23s vs Middlesbrough U23s tomorrow night.
Durham Women: Reid, Christon, Holmes (Wilson, 75′), Salicki, Robson (Hill, 75′), Robertson, Lee, Hepple (c), Roberts, Gears, Ness
Unused subs: Borthwick, Ryan
Leicester City Women: Lambourne, Franklin-Fraiture, Morgan (c), Nat Johnson, Jackson, Nymoen, Fletcher (Moncaster, 89′), Domingo, Dugmore, Axten (Melissa Johnson, 72′), Greengrass (Smith, 67′)
Unused subs: Clarke, Brown, Hudson
Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions
Referee: Shane Sugden