REPORT: Leicester 1-5 Durham

A second half rampage from Durham Women saw them claim victory at Leicester City on the opening day of the FA Women’s Championship season.

A brace from substitute Molly Sharpe and strikes from Megan Bell, Lisa Robertson and Becky Salicki sealed convincing victory – with Libby Smith’s strike merely a consolation.

Lee Sanders handed debuts to summer signings Jordan Atkinson, Iris Achterhof and Bell – and it was the latter who would open the scoring at Farley Way.

The Northern Irish international slotted home after just seven minutes following a clever cut-back from Jordan Atkinson to hand the Wildcats the lead.

But parity was restored just two minutes later as Smith tapped home from close range after Hayley James’ drive across the face of goal came back off the post.

Durham continued to push forward in search of a second, with Nicki Gears seeing a near-post drive pushed around the post before Bell saw an effort hacked off the line by Nat Johnson after she had seized on a lapse in concentration.

Sarah Robson and Iris Achterhof then both brushed the post with headers, as the two teams went in level at the interval.

But it was a different story after the interval, as the Wildcats dictated the proceedings from the restart.

Achterhof came close to pulling the visitors ahead, but her powerful effort was parried by Demi Lambourne – who was forced to withdraw due to injury as a result.

And her replacement, Scarlett Field, had to pick the ball out the net immediately after entering the fray as she was beaten by Lisa Robertson’s stunning long-range drive.

It was three shortly after, Salicki scrambling home from close range after Robson and Sarah Wilson nodded on a corner.

There was time for two more goals too – first Sharpe leapt highest to power a header home after Bell’s teasing free-kick.

And the same combination added a fifth, with Bell threading in Sharpe for a calm finish past Field to wrap up a convincing win.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Robertson, Wilson, Robson, Gears, Achterhof, Bell, Salicki, Christon, Atkinson

Subs Not Used: Reid, Manders, Sharpe, Holmes

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