REPORT: Durham 1-6 Everton

Durham Women have bowed out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup at the Quarter Final stage after defeat to Everton.

The Toffees were ruthless and, thanks in part to a four-goal salvo from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, progressed to the last four as Olivia Chance and Danielle Turner also netted.

Sarah Robson’s goal was merely a consolation for Durham, who created plenty of chances in a performance which was not reflected in the scoreline.

With the game postponed last weekend due to heavy snow, Durham showed no after effects of the freezing weather and started brightly – Zoe Ness forcing Kirstie Levell to tip over after her curler looked to be dropping in.

But Everton were seeing most of the ball and took the lead when Sweetman-Kirk reacted quickest to loft the ball home after Helen Alderson had parried Chance’s initial shot.

Everton continued to see most of the ball, but were almost pegged back when Ness chased down a Levell kick which fell perfectly for Hepple who side-footed over as the visitors threw bodies in front of the ball.

And after that reprieve, Everton doubled their advantage as an incisive counter-attack saw Turner tee up Chance who slotted home from 12 yards.

Yet Durham failed to cave in and were inches away from pulling a goal back on the stroke of half-time as Hepple’s free-kick struck the post before Nicki Gears and Sarah Wilson failed to turn it home.

After the break, Everton continued to push forward and had a third when Sweetman-Kirk met Kelly’s cross with a stopping header.

Ness then threatened twice in quick succession as Durham sought a route back into the game – first her shot on the turn was saved by the legs of Levell before a header from the resultant corner was hacked off the line by Georgia Brougham.

It was to be the visitors who netted next though, as Turner made it four after surging down the left and firing across Alderson.

Sweetman-Kirk made it five shortly after when she rounded Alderson and slotted home, but there was to be a glimmer of hope for the Wildcats soon after.

After Gears saw a header come back off the post, Robson reacted quickest to steer the ball home and reduce the deficit.

And Robson had the ball in the net again moments later when she prodded the ball over the line after Kathryn Hill’s shot had hit the bar, only for the linesman’s flag to thwart her celebrations.

Emily Roberts then rattled the crossbar as Durham refused to give up in the dying minutes.

There was a sixth for Everton РSweetman-Kirk adding her fourth from close range in injury time Рbut Durham can leave the competition with their heads held high after a strong performance against higher-level opposition.

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