REPORT: Everton 1-1 Durham

There was late heartbreak for Durham who conceded an injury time equaliser away at Everton.

The Wildcats had been in front for the majority of the game after Lindsay Johnson’s own goal, but a late Jess King strike meant that Durham travelled home with only a point despite a spirited performance.

Everton knew they needed a win to keep their hopes of promotion alive and started the game brightly. After the visitors couldn’t fully clear a corner, Danielle Turner fired straight at Anna Moorhouse from inside the area.

Nicki Gears almost handed the visitors the lead moments later. Her good work forced a corner which she then met with a firm header which went narrowly over the bar.

The hosts were growing into the game and had a golden chance to take the lead on 20 minutes. Paige Williams had a go from distance which looked to be going in until Anna Moorhouse tipped it onto the bar.

Durham were remaining resolute at the back and defending well, and this hard work was rewarded when they took the lead on 33 minutes. Jordan Atkinson did well to break away down the right and her cross caused confusion in the Everton area. Eventually, it was Lindsay Johnson who sliced the ball past her own goalkeeper to put Durham ahead.

The Wildcats were buoyant and could have doubled their lead just before the break. Everton couldn’t clear a corner and Natalie Gutteridge saw her drilled effort well saved by Kirstie Levell, meaning the visitors held only a one goal advantage at the break.

Moments into the second half Gears almost did extend the lead. She raced onto a loose ball in the area but saw her effort held well by Levell.

The Toffees were pushing forward relentlessly in pursuit of an equaliser, but the Wildcats’ backline was dealing with the danger well. After Danielle Turner’s long range effort struck the bar, captain Sarah Wilson had to be alert to hack an Emily Hollinshead effort off the line.

It wasn’t one way traffic traffic, however, as Durham continued to carve out chances. Substitute Courtney Corrie fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area before Gears then fired across goal and saw her effort brush the post.

Moorhouse was having an excellent game in the Durham backline and made the save of the afternoon with fifteen minutes remaining. After Simone Magill connected with a cross six yards out, the stopper reacted well to deny her at point blank range.

As the game ticked into injury time it looked as if The Wildcats would hold on and secure a vital three points, but there was yet to be a cruel twist of fate. A quick counter attack saw Claudia Walker break into the area before teeing up Jess King who could stroke home from close range.

The ending was cruel on Durham who performed admirably and will undoubtedly take positives from a good performance at an impressive side.

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