REPORT: Sheffield United 0-6 Durham

Durham Women hit Sheffield United for six as they continued their unbeaten start to the Continental Tyres Cup campaign.

A first-half penalty from Kathryn Hill was added to after the break by Nicki Gears, Emily Roberts, Sarah Robson, Bridget Galloway and Molly Sharpe as the Wildcats ran riot.

Both sides looked to get forward in the early exchanges, with Mollie Lambert sending a lopping header over the bar for the Wildcats with under a minute on the clock.

And the Blades had an even better opportunity moments later, with Lucy Watson somehow unable to convert Keri Matthew’s fine cross from six yards out.

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk then found herself through on goal after intercepting possession but Hannah Reid stood tall to parry her low drive.

Durham’s best chances were restricted to long-range efforts, with Lee seeing her 25-yard drive held by Fran Kitching.

But as the half grew on, the Wildcats started to grow into the contest and played some attractive football – asking questions of their hosts in what was a cagey and hard-fought 45 minutes of football.

And they took the lead on the stroke of half-time – Sarah Robson was scythed down in the area handing Hill the chance to slot home from the spot, and she obliged as she sent Kitching the wrong way.

Yet the half ended on a sour note after Beth Hepple was forced to withdraw through injury.

Durham responded well to that blow though and started the second half well, with Roberts flashing a shot wide from 12 yards.

But they were perhaps fortunate not to be pegged back shortly after – with Mel Johnson firing wide after penalty appeals were waved away after Sweetman-Kirk went down in the box.

Sharpe then saw a flicked effort hacked away after Gears’ teasing cross as the game began to open up a little.

And Durham took advantage of that when they added a second with 58 minutes on the clock – Lambert’s fine through ball lofted over Kitching and in by Gears.

It would be three shortly after, too – as Gears turned provided and threaded in Roberts who slotted past Kitching.

Things just kept getting better for the Wildcats too, who where imperious in both attack and defence after the interval.

A fourth would soon come as Robson rose highest to nod home Sharpe’s superb corner from close range.

Durham weren’t done there, either, as substitute Galloway turned her marker before rifling a fine strike into the bottom corner from 18 yards.

And there was yet more to come too, as Sharpe got in on the act – smashing a strike into the roof of the net after Lily Crosthwaite’s clever cut-back.

Galloway came close to a seventh, as she sent a bicycle kick off the angle of post and bar, as the Wildcats dominated until the last kick.

It’s a result that keeps Durham top of Group A ahead of their final group fixture.

Durham XI: Reid, Hill, Briggs (Ayre 75), Lambert, Wilson, Robson, Hepple (Gears 45), Sharpe, Christon, Roberts (Crosthwaite 75), Lee (Galloway 65)

Subs Not Used: Borthwick

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