Durham Women fell to Oxford United, who secured their first win in the FA WSL 2 with a 2-1 victory, with the Wildcats defeated in the cruelest of circumstances.
Emily Scott, making her full debut for Durham after signing from Middlesbrough, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute taking one touch in the penalty area before striking the ball into the roof of the net.
The home side where pegged back just five minutes before half-time when Kayleigh Hines’ spectacular 40-yard effort went past Danielle Hill to equalise.
It looked like the game was set to a fizzle out as a draw but in the 83rd minute Oxford’s corner was judged by the linesman to have crossed the line despite Durham appearing to clear the ball off the line.
Early exchanges saw both sides having plenty of time on the ball but neither side testing the goalkeepers. Durham grew into the game, applying pressure to Oxford and found plenty of space down the right-hand side with Rosie Young.
Durham’s breakthrough came in the 22nd minute after continued pressure, with Young crossing the ball into the Oxford box to find Scott. Taking a touch Scott notched her first goal for the club with a beautiful strike to give Durham the lead.
Jess Round could have easily added a second when she slipped in behind Oxford’s defence, finding space to strike a half volley that went over the bar.
But it was Kayleigh Hines who leveled the scores in the 40th minute when she struck a 40-yard effort that beat Hill in the Durham goal.
Half time and the score was 1-1.
Oxford started the second half brightly with Kate Stanley sending an effort narrowly wide of Durham’s goal. It was the away side who continued to apply pressure but strong defending from Durham saw them have plenty of bodies behind the ball to deny their attacks.
Young almost made it 2-1 to the home side in the 59th minute, peeling away from her marker to meet a cross-field pass that saw her first time effort rocket the crossbar.
The second half opened up with both sides creating chances on goal; substitute Yasmine Hardy going close for Durham and Hines attempting to add to her earlier goal.
In the 83rd minute, Oxford won a corner and it looked like Becky Hanratty had cleared the ball off the line only for the linesman to rule that Jemma Connor-Ioomi’s corner had crossed the line.
That was all there was time for and Durham were cruelly defeated by Oxford United.