REPORT: Durham 1-2 Doncaster

Durham fell to a first home defeat of the season as Doncaster Rovers Belles ran out 2-1 winners at New Ferens Park.

Durham took an early lead through Sarah Wilson but were pegged back in the first by an Emily Simpkins goal. Rovers took the lead on the hour through Jess Sigsworth and held on to take the points.

Doncaster started brightly and could have scored just six minutes in, but Sophie Watson saw her freekick go narrowly wide of the post.

Durham were struggling to create anything clear cut early on and resorted to shots from range, with Lauren Briggs and then Beth Hepple testing their luck from range, but neither really tested Nicky Davies.

Durham found a breakthrough 15 minutes in after some good work from Nicki Gears won the hosts a corner. Hepple’s delivery was met with a bullet header at the far post from Wilson which beat the keeper to put Durham in front.

Rovers had an immediate chance to level when Kirsty Hanson burst forward on the left-hand side, but her fierce effort got caught in the wind and flew across the face of goal.

Durham looked to add a second and were unlucky when Ness headed over from a corner.

Rovers had been second best for much of the game but looked dangerous when they did get forward. Simpkins was played in behind the Durham defence and slotted the ball past Helen Alderson to bring Durham level.

Durham ended the half stronger and were close to retaking the lead. Hepple tested her luck from 20 yards only to be denied by Davies who tipped her got her fingertips to the shot to tip it on to the bar. 

Durham were unlucky again just after half-time after Gears went through on goal and chipped the keeper, the ball looked to be going in, but clipped the bar and Doncaster cleared.

Doncaster were growing in to the game in the second half and could have taken the lead through Rebecca Rayner, but her 20-yard effort was straight at Alderson.

Rovers did take the lead shortly after. In the 61st minute Sigsworth on the right-hand side looped a shot over Alderson and in to the net.

Durham introduced Nicola Worthington with 20 minutes to go and the midfielder was involved immediately. Gears worked her way up the right-hand side and found Worthington in the middle, but her shot dragged wide in the wind.

In the dying moments Cottam shot from outside the box, but didn’t test Davies. 

Durham XI: Helen Alderson; Kathryn Hill (Abigail Cottam 83’), Sarah Wilson © (Grace McCatty 35’), Becky Salicki, Annabel Johnson; Sarah Robson, Beth Hepple (Nicola Worthington 68’), Lauren Briggs; Emily Roberts, Zoe Ness, Nicki Gears 

Unused subs: Megan Borthwick (GK), Jordan Atkinson, Ellie Christon, Ellis Dalgliesh

Attendance: 407

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