REPORT: Coventry 2-3 Durham

Durham Women survived a late scare to claim three points at Coventry United.

After a dominant first-half, which saw goals from Molly Sharpe and Kathryn Hill put the Wildcats in command, Beth Merrick’s long-range effort teed-up a nervy ending.

Megan Bell then looked to have wrapped up the three points, only for Rebecca Anderson to force a dramatic finale – which Durham survived.

Lee Sanders made just one change from the side that dominated at Sheffield United – Lisa Robertson missing out with a knock, and Molly Sharpe starting in her place.

And it was the visitors who started on the front foot, with Iris Achterhof seeing an early effort tipped over before Bell and skipper Sarah Wilson both came close.

Coventry almost took the lead against the run of play – Katy Morris seeing a low effort grace the outside of the post – before Durham got the goal their fine play deserved.

After Beth Hepple won the ball in the middle, she found Achterhof whose flick sent Sharpe through on goal – with the striker then making no mistake and slotting home.

Nicki Gears came close to a second, with Wood doing well to tip over her effort, but Durham would grab a second before the interval as Hill powered a header home from Hepple’s corner.

Hepple and Hill both came close after the break, but Coventry pushed forward in search of the goal which could turn the clash.

And they got it – with substitute Merrick lofting home from range after catching Megan Borthwick off the line.

Only some heroic defending stopped the hosts from levelling as Durham put their bodies on the line in pursuit of victory.

Their hopes of three points were boosted in injury time as Gears’ run down the left resulted in an inch-perfect cross for Bell – who slotted home to restore the two-goal cushion.

But Coventry would again force a nervous finish as Anderson looped a header home.

Thankfully for the Wildcats, it was too little, too late and Durham claimed the three points.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Wilson (Christon), Robson, Hepple, Sharpe (Weithofer), Gears, Achterhof (Manders), Bell, Salicki, Holmes

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