REPORT: Durham 2-2 Manchester United

Durham Women twice came from behind to claim a well-deserved draw with Manchester United.

Dee Bradley and Beth Hepple struck for the Wildcats who perhaps could have taken maximum points after a stellar second half performance.

And while the Red Devils took a bonus point on penalties, it was a night to be proud of for the Wildcats.

It was the visitors who began brightly with Megan Borthwick having to get down to parry a powerful Alessia Russo effort.

But Durham grew into the game with a low Mollie Lambert cross almost allowing Danielle Brown to flick home, before Ali Johnson almost caught out Sophie Baggaley from range.

Manchester United were still seeing more of the ball though and took the lead on 35 minutes when Ivana Fuso slotted home from Carrie Jones’ square ball.

Chances were at a premium in the opening period, but the Wildcats came out fighting in the second half and pressed their visitors high.

And a deserved leveller came just six minutes after the restart when Bradley rose highest to nod home Hepple’s corner.

That spurred on the hosts who continued to push forward, even if they failed to seriously trouble Baggaley.

So it was somewhat against the run of play when the visitors retook the lead – substitute Ella Toone sending a stunning effort into the top corner from 25 yards.

Time was limited to find a leveller but that didn’t deter Durham, who created a plethora of late chances.

Sarah Robson saw a shot deflect just wide, a Hepple corner flashed across the face of goal and Ellie Christon saw a close range volley held.

An equaliser came with just four minutes remaining as Hepple sent a fine free-kick into the top corner, leaving Baggaley helpless.

There were two late chances for both sides – Russo skewing wide after rounding Borthwick and Robson curling narrowly over – before the game ended in a draw.

United took the bonus point, but Durham leave proud of a superb performance.

Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Lambert (Christon 71), Wilson, Robson, Hepple, Salicki, Bradley, Brown (Galloway 62), Johnson (Briggs 56), Holmes

Durham subs not used: Mackain, Roberts, Ayre, Greenwood, Crosthwaite

Goals: Bradley 51, Hepple 86

Bookings: Hepple 55, Holmes 60, Bradley 88

Attendance: 1468

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.