REPORT: Durham 1-0 Sheffield FC

Durham Women made it two wins from two in the FA WSL Spring Series courtesy of a win over Sheffield FC Ladies.

In a hard-fought encounter with few clear cut chances, Nat Gutteridge headed home ten minutes into the second half to hand the Wildcats victory.

Lee Sanders made two changes from the side that were knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton, handing starts to Nicola Gibson and Gutteridge.

But the hosts were on the back foot early on with stopper Helen Alderson having to be alert to thwart Lagan Makin after she had seized on Becky Salicki’s backpass, before an excellent tackle from Sarah Wilson stopped Hannah Cain as she looked to pul the trigger.

Durham were still creating chances, however – Salicki heading over from a Beth Hepple free-kick while Zoe Ness was denied only by a fine last-ditch tackle from Billie Murphy.

Chances were at a premium in the first half but the best one fell to Sheffield as Cain saw her scrambled effort from a corner hacked off the line by Salicki.

And that let-off seemed to buoy Durham who looked much improved after the break and opened the scoring with 55 minutes on the clock.

After the visitors had looked to have cleared their lines following a corner, the ball found its way to Ness who hooked it back into the area for Gutteridge to nod past Jules Draycott.

There were chances to extend the lead, too. Wilson headed narrowly wide from another corner before Ness saw a volleyed effort held well by Draycott.

Sheffield pressed forward in the dying minutes but struggled to test Alderson as the Wildcats’ backline held on to keep their unbeaten FA WSL start intact.

Durham: Alderson, Johnson, Wilson, Hepple, Ness, Gutteridge (Atkinson), Gibson (Briggs), Salicki, Christon, Roberts (Jennings), Lee

Subs Not Used: Borthwick, Dodds

Attendance: 437

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