The Wildcats were undone in the second-half after Natasha Dowie came off the bench to earn Matt Beard’s side three points
Durham were beaten 1-0 away at Liverpool as they lost their third consecutive match in the Continental Tyres Cup.
The Wildcats took on Matt Beard’s side, who had left Natasha Dowie and Rosie White on the bench, and set-up to contain the WSL1 side.
Resolute defending saw the Liverpool manager make changes in the second-half, with both Dowie and White coming on before the hour mark, and it was the former who got the only goal of the game, tapping in after Ashley Hodson had worked her way into the box and playing the ball back to her.
Defeats by Sunderland and Manchester City, the other two WSL1 sides in the competition, have been an eye-opening experience for Durham’s young players, especially as there were nine members of the squad under the age of 19.
Goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse has played in all three matches so far and has seen improvement against the top teams as the competition progresses.
She said: “Personally, I feel like that was my best performance out of the three games.
“Although the last game against Manchester City ended 5-0, our excellent second-half showing gave us the confidence to see that we can compete with the best teams in the country, so going into the Liverpool game we were positive of giving a good performance and I think we did that for the majority of the game, even when Liverpool brought their big guns on we still contained them very well.
“Lee [Sanders] asked us for a performance rather than a result and as a team I thought it was one of the best defensive performances we’ve had.
“We were solid at the back and hard to break down, we did a job for 99% of the time, their goal came from a lapse in concentration.
“I don’t think at the start of the game we would of been disappointed losing 1-0 to a team like Liverpool but to have been that close to taking points and the shift the girls put in to contain a strong team it is a little disappointing, I feel like the team deserved more.
Moorhouse had only featured in one other game this season and has jumped at the opportunity to impress in the competition, but owes more to the experience of playing against top teams than anything else.
She added: “Before the cup I’d only played one game all season so it’s been good to get some game time and playing against international players and seeing their quality has been a good experience.
“We do have a young squad and we can only take positives from the games that we’ve played in the cup and move forward from that.
“We’ve played all the WSL1 teams in the group now and I think playing the teams in our own league will allow us to show more going forward rather than trying to contain teams we can be more attacking.”