REPORT: Watford 1-1 Durham

Durham Women maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a draw against Watford Ladies.

In testing conditions, the Wildcats battled through the first half before taking the lead through Emily Roberts ten minutes after the break.

But the lead was short lived as Rinsola Babajdie equalised only minutes later, with Durham unable to find another goal despite a host of chances.

Lee Sanders handed a debut to goalkeeper Rachael Laws in the FA WSL Spring Series game, and the ex-Sunderland stopper was called into action early on as she had to smother at the feet of Charlotte Kerr after she had broken through on goal.

After something of a nervy start, the Wildcats grew in confidence with Beth Hepple stinging the palms of Gillet from distance before Zoe Ness fired wide.

Durham were seeing more of the ball and had a strong penalty shout turned down when Rachel Lee was bundled over in the area, with Ness then firing into the side netting after some neat build-up.

The hosts weren’t without their threats, however, with Kerr again finding herself one-on-one with Laws but slotting wide.

As the conditions worsened both sides were struggling to create chances and went in at half-time goalless, with Durham then starting the second period strongly with Hepple firing narrowly over and Gillet saving from Ness.

The breakthrough eventually came on 55 minutes, with Roberts controlling a pass on the edge of the area before sending her low shot into the corner.

Celebrations were cut short, though, by an act of brilliance from Babajide who levelled only three minutes after as he curled over Laws from distance and found the top corner.

Durham were keen to respond and had plenty of chances to retake the lead – Lee drilling just wide of the far post and Hepple firing straight at Gillet from a tight angle.

Better chances were still to come, with Wilson seeing a header hacked off the line before Watford managed to clear a goalmouth scramble as Roberts, Lee and Ness looked to force the ball home.

The Wildcats were forced to settle for a point, however, on what was a testing afternoon in Hertfordshire.

Durham XI: Laws, Jennings, Johnson, Wilson, Hepple, Ness, Gutteridge (Briggs 55), Atkinson (Christon 63), Salicki, Roberts, Lee

Subs Not Used: Borthwick, Gibson

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