Durham Women 1-2 Sunderland Ladies

The Wildcats were beaten by a stoppage time own goal after the game looked like it was going to end as a draw.

Durham Women were beaten 2-1 by Sunderland Ladies in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup in dramatic circumstances.

The Wildcats seemed certain to take a draw, but goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse could only palm Victoria Greenwell’s corner into her own net deep into stoppage time.

Durham had started the brighter of the two and they had the opening chance of the evening straight from kick-off, Nicki Gears getting in behind the defence before shooting wide of Hilde Olsen’s right-hand post.

Sunderland responded quickly, Keira Ramshaw going close twice in quick succession. The first was fired over the bar and the second was straight at the goalkeeper.

Gears was a pivotal part of the team in the first half, getting in behind the defence as much as she could, thanks in part to former Lady Black Cat Natalie Gutteridge’s pinpoint passes.

The first 20 minutes or so, the Wildcats had the upper hand on a team a division above them and looked the more likely of the two to open the scoring, with Beth Hepple trying her luck from range which came to no avail.

But Sunderland started to get back into it, Rachel Furness heading just wide at the back post from an Abby Holmes corner and Emma Kelly’s attempt from a Ramshaw cutback could only find Moorhouse in goal.

Durham hit the woodwork courtesy of Hepple and the ball was eventually cleared by Stephanie Bannon and Chloe Macek fired over after Gutteridge had chested down Jen Jennings’ long free-kick.

The Lady Black Cats had their moments before half-time, Kelly and Furness both going close, but Julie Nelson’s block and Moorhouse’s save proved decisive.

The second-half started as quickly as the first, Sunderland’s Greenwell forcing Moorhouse into making a fine save as her near post following a corner.

Gears was continuing to be a nuisance to Holmes down her left-hand side, skipping past her marker but shooting wide of Olsen’s goal, and she made the goalkeeper rush out and beat her to the ball on a one-on-one situation shortly afterwards.

Half-time substitute Kelly McDougal saw her cross-cum-shot loop over Moorhouse’s bar and Stephanie Roche’s shot on the turn was dragged wide as Sunderland continued to try and find a way through a resolute defence.

Sunderland opened the scoring in the 76th minute, the impressive Ramshaw running into the box before slamming the ball into the top left-hand corner, past the despairing reach of Moorhouse.

They almost doubled up minutes later, Roche again dragging her shot wide of goal as they looked to put the game beyond Durham’s reach, but it was the home side that first went close as Gutteridge’s stabbed effort hit the post and then levelled through Sarah Wilson. The captain buried home from close range after a bit of head tennis in the box for her third goal in two matches.

Sunderland substitute Beth Mead almost made it 2-1, but fired wide of goal but they did come away with the win in the end as the unfortunate Moorhouse bundled the ball over the line.

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