REPORT: Aston Villa 0-0 Durham

Durham Women were left frustrated as their trip to Aston Villa ended in a goalless draw.

Despite dominating the second half, and creating plenty of chances, the Wildcats couldn’t find the back of the net and were forced to settle for a point.

Lee Sanders handed a debut to Chloe Knott, while Nicki Gears was given a first start of the season after returning from injury.

And the Wildcats started brightly, with Abi Cottam disposed by Elisha N’Dow as she prepared to pull the trigger.

From the resultant corner, Amy Hall was forced to clear off the line after a goalmouth scramble saw the Wildcats force the ball towards goal.

Villa did have a couple of half chances – Hannah Reid making comfortable saves from Hall and Kerri Welsh – but the first half was one of few clear-cut opportunities. 

The second half followed a similar vein at first, but the half-time introductions of Zoe Ness and Rachel Lee sparked the Wildcats into life.

A Christon cross was slid narrowly wide by Gears before Lee was then denied by a smart stop by Sian Rodgers.

Gears then came a whisker away from opening the scoring when her effort from an acute angle struck the bar.

Durham continued to pepper the Villa goal and looked to have a golden chance to open the scoring when Zoe Ness raced through on goal – only for a flag-happy linesman to thwart the attack, much to the bemusement of most in attendance.

The hosts could have stolen an unlikely victory late on when Hall headed over from point blank range, but both sides were forced to settle for a point after a cagey encounter.

Durham XI: Reid, Wilson, Robson (Hill), Hepple, Gears, Knott (Lee), Salicki, Christon, Roberts, Cottam (Ness), Holmes

Sub not used: Borthwick

Attendance: 175

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