REPORT: Lewes 1-1 Durham

Durham Women were forced to settle for a share of the spoils at Lewes in their first game of 2021.

Bridget Galloway’s opener had handed the Wildcats the lead, only for Katie Rood to level from the penalty spot in the second half.

Durham huffed and puffed in the second half but failed to make their possession count, as the Rooks stood strong to claim a point.

Lee Sanders made just one change from the side that beat Liverpool in December as Galloway came back into the side – and she had an immediate impact.

After bossing the opening stages, the Wildcats took the lead with just seven minutes on the clock as the striker bundled home at the near post after Beth Hepple’s corner.

Chances after this point were few and far between, with the visitors dominating possession without seriously troubling opposition stopper Tatiana Saunders.

At the other end, Megan Borthwick was only called into action once during the first half as she comfortably held a tame Megan Mackey shot from range.

Saunders was the busier of the two ‘keepers, and did well to hold a powerful Molly Sharpe effort from the angle before also keeping out Hepple’s effort from range.

But having kept the deficit to just one at half-time, Lewes came out and started the second half strongly.

Sarah Wilson did well to block a Mackey shot after she had worked her way into the area as the Rooks pushed forward.

And they levelled from the penalty spot after Briggs was adjudged to have fouled Rood – with the New Zealand international brushing herself off before converting the penalty.

From there on out it was pretty much one-way traffic as Durham poured forward, albeit without creating many clear-cut chances.

Wilson twice connected with corners as the Wildcats sought a goal – first glancing a header across the box that was begging for a touch, before moments later seeing a header cleared away as it looked to creep in.

Lewes made some defensively-minded changes as they sought to see out the game and they proved a tough nut to crack, keeping Durham at bay in the dying stages.

There were late penalty calls when Becky Salicki went down in the box, but both sides were forced to settle for a point at the Dripping Pan.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Briggs, Lambert (Brown 87), Wilson, Robson, Hepple, Sharpe (Gears 58), Galloway (Salicki 78), Christon (Bradley 87), Roberts

Sub not used: Mackain

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