Durham secure second victory in WSL

A penalty from Caroline Dixon and a powerful strike from Zoe Ness helped Durham to secure their second victory in the FA WSL 2.

The opening goal came in the third minute when Beth jennings was brought down in the Millwall area. The referee pointed to the spot and up stepped captain Dixon to slot the ball into the back of the net.

The lead didn’t last long however, as Millwall won a penalty of their own after Lily Agg was tugged back in the area. After converting from the spot, the score was level at 1-1.

It was Ness who put the Wildcats back in front as she rounded several Millwall players before unleashing a shot that crashed into the net.

It was Durham who started brightly, applying plenty of pressure to the hosts’ back four through Yas Hardy and Jennings. Capitalising on a defensive error by Millwall, Jennings was fouled to win the Wildcats the penalty. Duly converted by Dixon, the North East took the lead.

But Millwall found themselves back in the game seven minutes later when they converted a penalty of their own. Anna Moor house who was making her full debut for Durham was unlucky not to have saved the penalty after guessing the correct way that Naomi Cole went.

Despite the setback, the Wildcats continued to hound their opposition and were having a lot of luck using the flanks to carve out opportunities.

Emily Scott latched onto a break by Jennings but her shot was just wide; moments later the visitors won a free kick in a dangerous area but it failed to reach any of the Wildcats attackers.

Their hard work paid off in the the 21st minute when Ness went on a commanding run and sealed it off with a fabulous finish to give the Wildcats a deserved 2-1 lead.

As the first half continued Durham were playing some of their best football this season and as well as creating opportunities upfront, they were standing tall in defence. Both Sarah Wilson and Christon denied Millwall by getting a touch on the ball to deny the hosts’ chances on goal.

Durham could have got themselves a third when Atkinson’s cross into the box saw both Jennings and Hardy get a touch on the ball.

The Wildcats dominance was showing as Lillie Billson, who starred in the earlier fixture at New Ferens Park, had to drop back in order to get herself into the game.

Half-time and it was 2-1 to the Wildcats.

The second half saw Durham continue in the same vain and their first opportunity came just two minutes into the half. Atkinson’s searching cross almost met the head of Jennings but she could not get enough on it to direct it goalwards.

Ness could have got a second goal when Atkinson’s pullback found the Scotland U19 International but she dragged her effort wide of the post.

Jemma Purfield, making her first appearance since joining from Doncaster, entered the fray and had an immediate impact when latching on to Ness’ pass to flash an effort across the face of goal.

Jennings tried a speculative effort in the 62nd minute when the ball bounced in her favour, allowing the striker to pull off an overhead kick on goal that went well over the bar.

Whatever Millwall tried to throw at Durham, their defence was equal to the task with Wilson, Dixon, Jen King and Christon finding a way to block their attacks into the defence. On many occasions, Dixon was there with her head and Wilson produce a fantastic block at the death to deny Millwall when they found a sight of goal.

King went on a commanding run from defence, bringing the ball out of defence to send the ball forward to Jennings, only for the striker to be flagged offside.

Millwall were throwing the kitchen sink at Durham and despite appealing for a penalty in the final moments of the game, Durham held on to secure their second win in the WSL.

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