Durham Women vs London Bees

With both of these teams playing in the second tier of women’s football since WSL2 was formed, I’ve seen them play each other at New Ferens Park five times now. It’s got to be up there with the most common fixture I’ve seen. I know I’ve seen Easington Colliery vs Billingham Town four times, but I can’t think of any other fixture that I’ve seen as many as five times. This game today gave me a fourth game in four days, but I won’t be anywhere tomorrow. I’ll probably be at either Spennymoor Town vs Bradford Park Avenue or South Shields vs Marine on Tuesday night, and then I’ll be at Willington vs Easington Colliery on Wednesday night. That should be it until Easington’s game next Saturday and Durham Women vs Chelsea Women next Sunday.

Match report:

Durham Women claim hard fought win over London Bees

Durham Women claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win over London Bees at New Ferens Park on Sunday afternoon.

Kathryn Hill’s 68th minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides, and the win takes Durham to third in the Championship.

Upon kick-off at a wet and windy New Ferens Park, it was Hill who had the first chance for the Wildcats. Abi Cottam teed up the full back, but her effort was straight at Sarah Quantrill.

Rachel Lee then fired over for Durham, before the Bees’ first effort saw Ocean Rolandsen force an easy save from Hannah Reid.

As the game settled down, there was plenty of hard work from both teams, but little action in front of goal.

Durham were looking the brighter, but they didn’t create a great deal in the opening 20 minutes.

In the 24th minute, Sarah Robson took aim from range for Durham. Her effort deflected off Joe Wilson, and it forced a good save from Quantrill.

Lee and Lisa Robertson both had further half chances come and go for the hosts, before Zoe Ness fired just wide after good work from Hill.

Robson had a header cleared off the line in the 37th minute, before the resulting corner also found Robson. However, this time, her header darted narrowly over.

Hepple fired well over for Durham late in the first half, and despite dominating the affair, Durham had to be content with going into the break level.

Early in the second half, Durham thought they had broken the deadlock. Ness’ through ball played Nicki Gears in and she did well to slot home, but she was ruled offside.

In the 58th minute, Hepple’s cross picked out Abby Holmes. She couldn’t direct the ball towards goal and opted to pull it back to Ness. Ness, who was playing for the Scotland national team just a few days ago, took aim, but she could only curl narrowly wide.

Following a quiet spell, Durham eventually broke the deadlock halfway through the second half. Hill charged forward to intercept a pass in the middle of the park, and her first touch opened up an opportunity to shoot. She took that opportunity by drilling a 30-yard effort into the bottom corner to put the Wildcats ahead.

Just two minutes later, the Bees had Quantrill to thank for keeping the deficit at only one. Sloppy defending gifted Ness possession and she was in on goal, but a good save from Quantrill denied the Durham forward.

Durham had a couple of corners come to nothing with quarter of an hour to play, before Hepple’s corner found Becky Salicki at the back post but her header dropped agonisingly wide.

In the 84th minute, London Bees were gifted their only opportunity of the second half. And what an opportunity it was. Salicki’s short back pass played Connie Forman in but she could only stab wide of the far post.

Durham had a couple of further half chances late on, but they didn’t matter as the Wildcats saw out a tough encounter to take all three points.

Full-time: Durham Women 1-0 London Bees

Next up for me is either Spennymoor Town or South Shields on Tuesday night.

Durham Women: Reid, Hill, Holmes, Wilson (c), Salicki, Robson, Robertson, Lee (Hepple, 36′), Cottam (Christon, 75′), Gears, Ness (Dixon, 87′)

Unused subs: Borthwick, Knott

London Bees: Quantrill, Johnson, Wilson, Wilkinson (c) (Toussaint, 46′), Pickett (Forman, 83′), Rolandsen, Gibson, McLachlan, Nunn (Dench, 75′), Wheeler, Will

Unused subs: Loomes, Gould, Unitt

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £2

Attendance: 353

Teamsheet: Free

Chips and curry sauce and bottle of Coke: £4.10

Referee: Lucy Oliver

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