REPORT: Sheffield 0-4 Durha

Durham Women picked up their first away win since February courtesy of a ruthless display at Sheffield FC Ladies.

After a first-half that saw the Wildcats hit the woodwork on three occasions, Nicola Worthington’s struck shortly after the restart to hand the visitors the lead.

Abi Cottam then added a second shortly after before Rachel Lee capitalised on a fine set-piece to net her first of the season.

Jordan Atkinson then rounded off the scoring in what was a dominant away performance.

After a promising runout in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup against top tier Sunderland, Durham were keen to carry the positives into the trip to Dronfield.

And they started brightly too, with Zoe Ness forcing Danielle Gibbons into an early after save after she had space to turn and shoot in the area.

Then, with just six minutes on the clock the woodwork was rattled twice in quick succession – first Ness saw her shot cannon back off the bar before Worthington’s mis-kick fell perfectly for Cottam who was again denied by the frame of the goal.

Cottam then saw a close range header held by Gibbons before Helen Alderson was called into action as she held Rhema Lord-Mears’ shot from the edge of the area.

It was Durham who were still creating the better opportunities however, and Cottam again came close when she curled onto the roof of the net from 18 yards.

The woodwork then came to Sheffield’s rescue as the half entered its final minute as Ness saw a free-kick clip the bar as Sheffield clung on into the break.

But only two minutes after the break the Wildcats had the lead their play deserved as Worthington reacted quickest to poke home from close range after Ness saw an effort parried.

And it was two moments later, as Lee’s fine through ball set Cottam free and she kept her composure to slot past Gibbons.

Cottam then saw a near-post effort parried by the Sheffield stopper as the one-way traffic continued, although Annabel Johnson did well to halt Chloe Dixon as the hosts looked to reduce the deficit.

Any potential comeback, though, was a dealt a crushing blow when the Wildcats added a third.

A neat free-kick routine saw Emily Roberts afforded the space to cross and Lee’s neat movement allowed her to side-foot into the roof of the net.

That didn’t deter Sheffield who continued to look for a goal, with Alderson putting her face in the way of Ellie Gilliatt’s powerful effort.

But it was still Durham who looked most likely to score and a fourth did come when substitute Atkinson tapped in at the far post following some good work from the lively Ness.

That capped off a fine away performance for the Wildcats, who move up to second in FA WSL 2.

Durham XI: Alderson, Johnson, Wilson, Ness, Gears (Atkinson), Worthington, Roberts (Christon), Briggs (Jordinson), Cottam, Hill, Lee

Subs Not Used: Hepple, Gibson

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