REPORT: Durham 3-3 Liverpool

Durham Women put in a fine display during an entertaining draw with top tier side Liverpool.

The Wildcats had fallen behind early on to a Sophie Bradley-Auckland strike, but a brace from Emily Roberts put the hosts in control at the break.

Abi Cottam then extended the lead only for late strikes from Rinsola Babajide and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk to salvage a point for Liverpool.

Chris Kirkland’s side also took the bonus point after a penalty shootout triumph, but Durham were left feeling enthused after another fine display.

Lee Sanders made two changes from the side that beat Sheffield last weekend as Abby Holmes and Megan Borthwick were handed starts.

But the duo barely had time to find their bearings before the Wildcats fell behind – Sophie Bradley-Auckland scrambling home from a corner.

Liverpool’s lead barely lasted a minute however, as Emily Roberts levelled the scores after prodding home from 12 yards.

And the winger then handed Durham the lead midway through the first half after she fired home from close range after a fine Cottam cross.

Niamh Charles and Bradley-Auckland both had chances before the break, but the hosts managed to hold onto their advantage going into the second half.

Indeed, things got even better for the Wildcats just after the restart as Cottam nodded home Hill’s cross to extend the advantage.

The third goal was the cue for an almighty spell of Liverpool pressure, with the Reds introducing several attacking reinforcements in a bid to get back into the game.

And the changes paid off, with Babajide reducing the deficit with a fine curling strike from inside the area after persistence from Charles presented an opening.

Substitute Sweetman-Kirk then bagged the leveller, turning home from close range after more good work from Charles.

Durham could have pinched a late winner – with Roberts and Sarah Robson coming agonisingly close – but the two sides had to settle for a point apiece.

It was Liverpool, though, who claimed the bonus point in the penalty shootout after a pair of fine saves from Anke Preuss allowed Bradley-Auckland to slot home the decisive spot-kick in a 5-4 triumph.

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