REPORT: Durham 4-0 Brighton

A brace from Emily Roberts helped Durham Women to a 4-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion Women at New Ferens Park.

Durham went ahead early on through Zoe Ness and Nicki Gears added a second before half time.

Emily Roberts scored Durham’s third just after the break and added a fourth midway through the half.

Last time out, Durham kept a first clean sheet since November and went on to make it two in a row against Brighton.

Durham couldn’t have started the game much better, taking the lead after only 6 minutes with Ness turning the ball in from close range following a corner.

Durham were looking dangerous from set pieces and nearly added a second moments later with Becky Salicki heading just wide at the far post.

Brighton took a while to get going in the game with their first real chance coming after 13 minutes. Kate Natkiel won the ball on the edge of the box, but the shot was tame and easy for Helen Alderson.

Durham were then unlucky not to add a second after good work from Ness and Emily Roberts saw Beth Hepple receive the ball unmarked in the box, but the midfielder’s effort came crashing back off the bar.

Durham kept pressing and causing problems for Brighton and the effort was rewarded in the 28th minute when Gears capitalised on a defensive error to get in behind the defence and slot the ball past Lucy Gillett.

Moments later another defensive error allowed Ness the chance to shoot from inside the box but she dragged her effort wide.

Brighton were having their fair share of possession but were struggling to create anything. Dani Buet decided to try her luck from range, but her 30-yard effort was well wide.

The visitors did grow in to the game as the half went on and came close to pulling a goal back on the stroke of half time. Jenna Legg found herself in space outside the box and fired a fierce effort which went just wide of Alderson’s right-hand post. 

As with the first half, Durham started the second half on top and it was 3-0 within three minutes of the restart. Roberts finished off a fine team move slotting in to the bottom corner.

Durham continued to dictate the game and nearly extended the lead further after 51 minutes. A corner was spilt and fumbled away to Lauren Briggs on the edge of the box, but her effort looped just over the bar.

Both teams were struggling to create anything clear cut in the second half but Kathryn Hill did have a good chance to extend Durham’s lead on 72 minutes, but skewed a shot wide from the edge of the box.

Durham did make it four shortly after with Roberts rounding Gillett and turning the ball in to an empty net.

Gears came close to adding her second with five minutes to go, winning the ball on the edge of the box before firing a low shot but Gillett was well positioned to keep it out.

Brighton came close to pulling a goal back late on when the ball was played to Aileen Whelan on the edge of the box, but her deflected effort was well dealt with by Alderson.

Durham XI: Helen Alderson; Kathryn Hill, Sarah Wilson ©, Becky Salicki, Annabel Johnson; Sarah Robson (Grace McCatty 75’), Beth Hepple, Rachel Lee (Lauren Briggs 45’); Emily Roberts, Zoe Ness (Jordan Atkinson 75’), Nicki Gears

Unused subs: Megan Borthwick

Brighton XI: Lucy Gillett; Amelia Ritchie, Jenna Legg, Laura Rafferty, Fliss Gibbons (Vicky Ashton-Jones 80’), Danielle Buet ©, Chloe Peplow, Kirsty Barton, Lucy Somes (Sophia Pharoah 45’), Aileen Whelan, Kate Natkiel

Unused subs: Laura Hartley

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