REPORT: Durham 0-2 Leicester

Durham Women suffered a first defeat of the season at the hands of Leicester City.

The first half was a tight, competitive affair, with very little between the two sides. 

Neither side had many glimpses of goal in the early stages.

Robson’s effort from distance for the Wildcats lacked power, and was saved comfortably, whereas Leicester’s only sight of goal came from a flicked header following a corner on 8 minutes.

The first clear cut chance came for the visitors after 27 minutes; Borthwick tipping Cain’s strike wide following a Leicester break down the left.

The Wildcats’ best chance of the first half came when Robson went through two strong challenges, causing the ball to break to Briggs, whose shot stung the palms of Levell in the Leicester goal. The referee then brought play back to book Robson, who was adjudged to have fouled Howard in the build-up.

As the first period to a close, the Foxes again had a sighter of the Durham goal. Devlin whipped in a freekick from the wide right, and it was glanced wide.

The second half began as competitive as the first, with Lambert being booked within seconds of the restart for a foul.

From the resulting freekick, failure to clear resulted in Tierney striking the ball home for Leicester City.

Durham looked for an instant response, with Hepple’s freekick from the right being headed narrowly wide by Wilson.

Just before the hour mark, Devlin very nearly doubled Leicester’s lead, but Borthwick produced an outstanding save to keep the Wildcats within a goal of the Foxes.

However, Leicester produced the second goal with just half an hour remaining, Tierney meeting a free-kick to double her tally for the afternoon.

The Wildcats responded by pressing their opponents high, and this pressure nearly paid off, when Galloway set up Hepple for a strike from distance. Unfortunately, the attacker’s strike failed to trouble Levell.

The chances, like in the first half, died down for much of the second half, and when the visitors came close to extending their lead to three after 83 minutes, Robson cleared it off the line.

Following this chance, Durham had an opening of their own when Sharpe penetrated down the left, but Hepple’s strike was saved well by Levell.

Durham showed no signs of giving up, and with just minutes remaining, Hepple again had a sight of goal, latching on to Galloway’s pullback before dragging her effort agonisingly wide.

But the Leicester defence stood firm late on.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Wilson (c), Hill, Salicki, Holmes, Robson, Briggs (Sharpe 61), Christon (Brown 61), Lambert (Gears 70), Hepple, Galloway 

Subs not used: Mackain, Crossthwaite, Bradley, Lee

By Joe Nelson

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