East Durham Blue Belles vs Darlington Spraire Ladies

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Durham Women’s League for a couple of months now. I did plan on watching East Durham Blue Belles a few weeks ago, but I didn’t bother going in the end. With Durham Women and Sunderland Ladies not at home today, it gave me a good opportunity to get to East Durham Blue Belles. Although it’s just a pitch on Lowhills Road, this does count as a new ground and two new teams. I suppose East Durham Blue Belles are my closest women’s team. Their pitch at Lowhills is about three miles from me.

To the game and it was rather one-sided from the off. Darlington had a few early chances, but it took them until the 13th minute to break the deadlock. A quick burst down the wing saw a low cross fall to their forward in the penalty area, and she made no mistake from eight yards.

The visitors continued to create plenty of chances, including missing a totally open goal.

Two goals in less than two minutes put Darlington Spraire totally in control in the 18th and 19th minute, but East Durham did create their first chance shortly after. It came when an effort from 20 yards was curled harmlessly wide.

Darlington hit the post in the 27th minute, before three goals in less than four minutes put Darlington Spraire six to the good.

Another Darlington goal followed in the 36th minute, before a bit of loose defending gave East Durham a chance. Their forward took aim from 18 yards, but it was a comfortable save for the Darlington goalkeeper.

Just before the break, Darlington scored an eighth.

It was 0-9 just 78 seconds into the second half, and the visitors hit double figures soon after. A well taken side footed effort found the roof of the net from 20 yards after a corner had been partially cleared.

Plenty of further chances came and went for Darlington, and the East Durham goalkeeper was pulling off some good saves.

There was a decent chance for East Durham Blue Belles in the 58th minute, but it was saved.

Darlington’s number 10 was the player that stood out to me. She had been subbed off at half-time, but was reintroduced with 20 minutes left. Immediately after being subbed back on, like she had done plenty of times in the first half, she beat the offside trap but wasn’t prevented by a good save.

In the 71st minute, the pick of the goals collected Darlington’s eleventh. It was a very ambitious looping effort from 30-35 yards, and it seemed to go in slow motion as it looped into the top corner with everyone motionless.

Goals in the 71st and 75th minute gave Darlington Spraire their 12th and 13th.

Their 14th came in the 84th minute when their forward beat the offside trap before slotting home comfortably.

What appeared to be a perfectly legal 15th was ruled out soon after, but it counted for little.

Full-time: East Durham Blue Belles 14-0 Darlington Spraire Ladies

Next up for me is Sunderland U23s vs Stoke City U23s.

Admission: Free

Programme: No

Attendance: 20


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