REPORT: Durham 0-0 London Bees

Durham Women were held to a goalless draw by London Bees at a blustery New Ferens Park.

In difficult conditions, both sides had chances to take the three points but were unable to break the deadlock – with Durham earning a fourth consecutive home clean sheet.

It wasn’t all good news for Wildcats keeper Helen Alderson though, as she was forced off through injury and with all three substitutions having been made, midfielder Lauren Briggs stepped in to finish the match in goal.

Durham started the game on top with Beth Hepple finding the first chance of the game in the 2nd minute, but her volley was deflected wide. 

Moments later, Emily Roberts made a good run into the area before finding Zoe Ness, who played a good ball in, but Abi Cottam was unable to hit the target. 

Ness then came close herself firing just wide from inside the area after weaving through the London Bees defence.

The Bees created their first chance in the 8th minute, but Lucy Loomes’ was unable to get any power on her header from Paula Howells’ cross and it was easy for Alderson to deal with.

A minute later, Durham came close again. A Hepple freekick from 40 yards was well met by Sarah Wilson, but it was deflected wide.

The Bees won their first corner in the 12th minute, but Rosie Lane’s header didn’t trouble Alderson.

The visitors then came close again with Loomes finding Howells on the right hand side whose shot was saved at full stretch by Alderson.

The Wildcats were unlucky not to take the lead in the 24th minute, when Jordan Atkinson played in Abi Cottam, whose volley hit the post. 

Hepple was next to try her luck, cutting in from the left, but her shot was well saved by Nicola Hobbs in the London Bees goal.

Ness and Hepple then both came close after interceptions, but neither were able to find the target with their efforts.

Durham again came close on the stroke of half time, with Atkinson breaking away after a Bees corner, but after a blocked effort, Hepple’s shot was well saved by Hobbs.

The Wildcats started the second half brightly, with Atkinson and Roberts both coming close, but Hobbs was able to deal with both efforts.

Durham came close again in the 67th minute, but no-one was able to get a touch on Atkinson’s cross which flashed across the face of goal.

Ness did well to create a chance for herself in the 75th minute, but her effort was straight at Hobbs.

Atkinson then came close with another low cross, which looked to be going in before a fantastic goal line clearance from Lane.

London Bees went straight down the other end where Loomes went one-on-one with Alderson, but the winger fired wide.

In the 87th minute Durham were reduced to ten players when Alderson looked to overstretch in an attempt to keep the ball in and having already made all three substitutions had no choice but to put an outfield player in goal. 

The ball had gone for a Bees corner, which looked like it was going to test Briggs in the Durham goal, but it looped harmlessly over the bar.

Durham were to have the last chances of the game, but were unable to beat the keeper with a Hepple freekick punched over by Hobbs, before Ness headed wide in the dying moments.

By Rory Drake

Durham XI: Helen Alderson; Kathryn Hill, Sarah Wilson, Annabel Johnson; Jordan Atkinson (Ellie Christon 86’), Rachel Lee, Beth Hepple, Nicola Worthington (Lauren Briggs 66’), Emily Roberts (Nicki Gears 66’); Zoe Ness, Abi Cottam 

Unused subs: Megan Borthwick; Nicola Gibson, Ellis Dalgliesh

Attendance: 401

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