REPORT: Bristol City 1-0 Durham (AET)

Durham Women suffered a cruel defeat at the hands of Bristol City – as they saw their FA Cup campaign come to an end.

The Wildcats more than played their part in an enthralling encounter at the Stoke Gifford Stadium, and were unlucky not to take something from a ding-dong tie.

Durham started brightly, with a corner finding Abby Holmes who curled narrowly over.

Sarah Robson then saw a firm header held by Sophie Baggaley, before Beth Hepple’s long-range effort flashed just wide of the far post.

With the rain teeming down and the ball starting to hold up in difficult conditions, chances were difficult to come by.

Bristol arguably could should have taken the lead before the interval, with Charlie Wellings firing over from inside the area after stealing possession

But the best chance of the half fell to the Wildcats, with Kathryn Hill and Sarah Robson somehow seeing efforts hacked off the line after a goalmouth scramble.

Durham continued their dominance after the break, with Molly Sharpe denied at the near post before Holmes sent an effort into the side-netting.

The Vixens, however, grew into the game with the introduction of Ebony Salmon prompting a string of chances.

Megan Borthwick had to remain alert to deny the striker at the near post on two occasions as Bristol teemed forward in numbers.

But as Bristol laboured in the forward areas, Durham looked lively on the counter attack – forging some late opportunities.

First Iris Achterhof saw a header graze the outside of the post, before the Dutch striker then fired wide from distance.

Danielle Cox then almost got her first goal in Durham colours after a loose ball fell kindly to her in the area, but Baggaley was equal to her shot.

And so into extra time the game went and, with 12 minutes on the clock, Bristol took the lead – Katie Robinson twisting and turning before firing home from close range.

Salmon then struck the bar when it looked easier to score, before Durham upped the ante and went on the offensive.

That saw the hosts employ a number of time-wasting tactics to slow the pace of the game down, as they accrued four yellow cards in the space of five minutes.

But despite a late penalty shout after a foul on Holly Manders, Durham left with nothing – and saw their cup dreams end.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Robson, Hepple, Sharpe, Gears (Manders 107), Achterhof (Nelson 96), Salicki, Cox, Christon (Weithofer 110), Holmes

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