REPORT: Durham 2-1 Millwall

A goal from Zoe Ness on her 50th appearance for Durham Women helped the Wildcats on their way to a 2-1 win against Millwall Lionesses at New Ferens Park.

Ness gave Durham the lead early on but Ellie Mason pulled Millwall level midway through the half.

Emily Roberts restored Durham’s lead on the stroke of half time and Durham were unlucky not to add to their tally in a dominant second half.

Durham came in to the game hoping to bounce back from the midweek defeat to Doncaster Rovers Belles and got off to a great start.

Abi Cottam burst down the right hand side and lofted a ball towards the far post, but her cross was met by a Millwall defender who miss-kicked and the ball fell perfectly for Ness, who turned the ball in to the bottom corner.

Cottam then had a go herself, unleashing a shot from 20 yards out but it lacked the power to test Sarah Quantrill.

Ness had a chance to add a second moments later but her effort was tame and straight at Quantrill.

Millwall restored parity midway through the half when a Megan Alexander cross to the edge of the box was met by Mason who fired in to the bottom left corner giving Helen Alderson no chance.

Millwall then started growing in to the came and had a couple of chances to take the lead, Rianna Dean raced through on goal and went one-on-one with Alderson, who came out and did well to claim the ball.

Dean then came close again, volleying from the edge of the box with her effort dropping on to the crossbar.

Durham started to regain a bit of control as the half went on and came close on 36 minutes through a Lauren Briggs effort, but it was just too high.

Millwall were then perhaps fortunate not to be reduced to 10. Ness ran through on goal and started to round Quantrill, but the Millwall keeper claimed the ball sliding out of her box to deny Ness a shot on an empty net, before receiving a yellow card. 

Durham continued going forwards and retook the lead on 43 minutes with Emily Roberts controlling the ball a few yards out before hooking an effort in to the top corner.

Roberts continued to cause Millwall problems in the second half, first coming close with a cross before firing an effort from the edge of the box which Quantrill did well to keep hold of.

Ness then played in Hepple as Durham continued looking to increase their lead, but her powerful effort was palmed over the bar. 

Millwall were still in the game despite not creating many clear cut chances but had a great chance to level on 65 minutes when Ashlee Hincks raced through on goal, but her lobbed effort beat the crossbar.

Durham were still creating the better chances and were unlucky not to score when Sarah Robson tried to finish off a good team move, but her shot was straight at Quantrill.

Roberts then danced through the Millwall defence working her way in to the box but tried to beat one player too many, with Quantrill pouncing and taking the ball.

With 15 minutes to go Ness played a fantastic ball through to Cottam on the right, Cottam cut inside and curled an effort just wide of the post.

Beth Hepple then slid a ball though for Ness who shot from the edge of the box but Quantrill did well to save it.

Quantrill again saved Millwall with just over 10 minutes to play with a double save to deny Cottam from point-blank range on both occasions. 

Millwall nearly made Durham pay for missed chances. A Hincks freekick in the 80th minute was fumbled by Alderson, but she recovered well to claim the ball and clear the danger.

In the last few minutes Durham created a couple of chances to make the scoreline more comfortable with Hepple shooting wide after being played through by Ness, before Robson fired a fierce effort from range which was well held by Quantrill.

Durham XI: Helen Alderson; Kathryn Hill, Sarah Wilson ©, Becky Salicki, Annabel Johnson; Sarah Robson, Lauren Briggs (Rachel Lee 70’); Emily Roberts (Nicki Gears 74’), Beth Hepple, Abi Cottam (Jordan Atkinson 86’); Zoe Ness

Unused subs: Megan Borthwick, Grace McCatty, Ellie Christon

Millwall XI: Sarah Quantrill; Billie Brooks, Jordan Butler (Georgina Giddings 70’), Leighanne Robe, Megan Alexander, Leigh Nicol, Megan Wynne (Leanne Cowan 56’), Ellie Mason, Amber Gaylor (Ashlee Hincks 45’), Charlotte Devlin, Rianna Dean

Unused subs: Victoria Wotton

By Rory Drake

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