REPORT: Durham 2-1 Millwall

Durham Women FC rounded off the season in perfect style wth a victory over Millwall Lionesses.

First-half strikes from Nat Gutteridge and Beth Hepple handed the Wildcats the initiative, with Hepple then missing a penalty after the break.

Amber Gaylor’s goal in second half injury time made for a nervy ending, but the hosts clung on to ensure they ended the season with another three points.

Lee Sanders made only change from the side that beat Watford last weekend as Sarah McFadden returned in place of Rachel Lee.

And Durham began brightly, with Hepple forcing Millwall stopper Sarah Quantrill into an early save as she took aim from the edge of the area.

Chances continued to come for the hosts with Nat Gutteridge seeing two diving headers saved as the Wildcats looked to break the deadlock.

But there was eventually to be a way through for Durham – and it was Gutteridge who found it.

Hepple played through Nicola Gibson down the right and her drilled cross landed at the feet of Gutteridge who was able to poke into the bottom corner.

Ten minutes later and there was a second, courtesy of England U20 international Hepple.

Gutteridge this time turned provider as she prodded the ball through for Hepple who hit a stunning first-time strike which left Quantrill with no chance.

Durham continued to press forward after the break with Atkinson testing Quantrill early on before then firing wide after she had tormented her marker.

A golden opportunity to extend the lead came just after the hour mark as Emily Roberts’ pace saw her tripped in the area handing Hepple the chance to double her tally from the penalty spot.

But she couldn’t, with her spot kick clearing the crossbar.

Despite this setback, it was still Durham creating the majority of the chances. Sarah McFadden saw a powerful volley parried by the Millwall stopper before substitute Lee saw a dipping volley drop just over the crossbar.

An interesting finale was in store when Millwall pulled a goal back in injury time – Gaylor slotting home after the ball had found her at the far post.

But it proved to be no more than a consolation goal as Durham held on to secure another valuable three points.

Durham: Alderson; Christon, Wilson, Salicki, Johnson; Hepple, McFadden (Macek), Gibson; Atkinson (Dodds), Roberts, Gutteridge (Lee)

Subs Not Used: Darkoah, Borthwick

Attendance: 537

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