REPORT: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Durham

Durham Women made it four straight wins in the league as goals from Bridget Galloway and Sarah Robson capped off a dominant second-half performance for the Wildcats on their visit to Bamber Bridge.

The beginning of the game was a cagey affair, with little to choose between the two sides.

Durham went closest in the opening exchanges, but Robson and Briggs’ efforts from distance lacked enough power to trouble Brooks in the Blackburn goal.

Just minutes later, Blackburn had the ball in the Durham net. 

Embley latched on to a through ball from Doyle and calmly finished beyond Borthwick. However, the Blackburn forward was adjudged to have been offside when the ball was played.

Durham responded strongly, and on the 19th minute Hepple’s pinpoint cross found the outstretched boot of Galloway, but she couldn’t quite guide it home.

Both sides had good chances in the first half; Briggs volleying over from the edge of the box for Durham, before Walters clipped the ball over the bar following a breakaway for Blackburn.

On the stroke of half-time, Blackburn again went close, with Walters blazing over from just inside the area.

Following the interval, Durham imposed themselves on their hosts.

Just seven minutes into the second half, Hepple had Brooks scrambling, but her 20-yard strike flew narrowly wide of the post.

Sharpe almost had an assist minutes after joining the action – after she replaced the injured Roberts – setting up Galloway with a deft flick, but a superb block from Richards kept the sides locked at 0-0.

Blackburn almost went ahead on 68 minutes, against the run of play, when Embley broke beyond the Durham defence but her curling effort was wide of the post.

Durham’s relentless pressure was finally rewarded with 20 minutes to go.

Sharpe again was involved, getting to the byline on the left and cutting the ball back to Galloway, who had a simple finish from just 6 yards out.

On 76 minutes, The Wildcats didn’t just settle there, they almost extended their lead to two on 76 minutes, when Hepple latched onto a Sharpe pass, seeing her shot saved before being ruled offside.

As the game entered the closing stages, Durham continued to search for a 2-goal cushion. 

Following a corner, Durham captain, Wilson, connected well with a half-volley, but her effort was off-target.

Despite Durham’s second-half dominance, the hosts went close with just 5 minutes to go, with Hodgson finding Montgomery in space on the left, but her mishit cross failed to trouble the Wildcats’ defence.

Finally, on the 87th minute mark, Robson got that all important second goal for Durham.

Wilson’s header from Hepple’s in swinging corner caused confusion among the Blackburn defence, and Robson was on hand to poke it home.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Wilson (c), Hill, Salicki, Holmes, Robson, Briggs, Brown (Lambert 62), Roberts (Sharpe 57), Hepple, Galloway (Bradley 89)

Subs not used: Mackain, Christon, Crosthwaite

By Joe Nelson

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