Durham Women vs Aston Villa Ladies

This has got to be one of the most popular fixtures I’ve seen since I started my reports. This game today was the fifth time I’ve watched Durham Women host Aston Villa Ladies, and I’ve also seen Villa play Sunderland twice. The other day I was looking through the stats on WordPress. Before yesterday’s Jarrow vs Easington game, I had written 1,097,824 words on here! That’s quite a few words! Apparently, a 400 page novel is normally around 100,000 words so if I put all of these on paper, it’s fair to say it would cost a bit to print! Durham’s wins against Tottenham and Manchester United show what they’re capable of. It’s been steady progress at the club since they were formed, but all of the hard work behind the scenes and the work to develop the squad is definitely showing now.

Match report:

Durham Women held to draw by Aston Villa

Durham Women were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa Ladies at New Ferens Park on Sunday afternoon.

Lisa Robertson put Durham ahead in the 21st minute later, but Jodie Hutton pulled Villa level just a minute later.

Kerri Welsh put Aston Villa ahead in the third minute of first half injury time, only for Becky Salicki’s 75th minute goal to ensure the points were shared.

Within the opening four minutes, Beth Hepple drilled narrowly wide for Durham, but that proved to be it for the opening quarter of an hour.

An injury to Welsh slowed the game down, but the Villa forward was eventually able to continue despite almost being stretchered off.

In the 20th minute, Zoe Ness burst down the wing for Durham. Her low cross almost picked out Robertson, but a crucial interception denied the former Hibernian midfielder.

However, Robertson was to break the deadlock for Durham just a minute later. Hollie Gibson’s terrible back pass played Robertson in, and she kept her cool to put Durham ahead.

Durham were gifted the opener, but then they gifted Villa an equaliser. A mistake from Sarah Wilson gifted Hutton possession and she charged down on goal before a good finish beat Hannah Reid.

Salicki almost regained Durham’s lead when Villa didn’t deal with a 29th minute corner, before a comfortable Reid save prevented Phoebe Warner at the other end.

A couple of Durham corners came to nothing as the first half wore on, but the Wildcats were struggling to create any real chances.

Deep into first half injury time, the visitors took the lead. A cross fell kindly to Welsh on the penalty spot, and her half volley found the net to put Aston Villa ahead at the break.

Following the break, Hepple had an effort blocked for the Wildcats, before Jade Richards’ header at the other end came to the same fate.

Durham were the better team, but they were struggling to create any chances.

Halfway through the second half, Villa could had doubled their lead. A bit of miscommunication in the Durham defence allowed Hutton to take the ball round Reid, but her effort could only find the side netting.

In the 71st minute, Durham had the ball in the net through Rachel Lee, but it was ruled out for offside.

Nicki Gears was always a threat after she had been subbed on, and in the 73rd minute, the former West Alabama forward beat three defenders before her shot hit the side-netting.

With 15 minutes to play, Durham pulled level. Hepple’s deep corner was headed back across goal by Wilson, and Salicki was there to bundle the ball home.

In the 83rd minute, the visitors went agonisingly close to regaining their lead. Hutton burst through on goal but her shot hit the inside of the post, went across the line and was cleared.

Gears and Ness both forced saves from Sian Rogers late on, and the Wildcats also had numerous corners, but they came to nothing.

That proved to be that as the points were shared.

Full-time: Durham Women 2-2 Aston Villa Ladies

Next up for me, at the time of writing, is possibly a game midweek but I don’t know where.

Durham Women: Reid, Hill, Holmes (Gears, 68′), Wilson (c), Salicki, Robson, Robertson (Christon, 76′), Lee, Hepple, Roberts, Ness

Unused subs: Borthwick, Ryan, Dixon, Cottam

Aston Villa Ladies: Rogers, Ale, N’Dow, Richards (c), Gibson, Hassall, West, Warner, Hall (Haywood, 69′), Hutton, Welsh (Smith, 87′)

Unused subs: Elsmore, Brown, Hannsen

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 454

Chips and gravy and bottle of Coke: £4.10

Referee: Jane Simms

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