REPORT: Durham 0-3 Bristol City

Durham Women fell to defeat against Bristol City – despite a spirited second half display.

Abi Harrison’s first-half brace put the Robins in command before the Wildcats came out fighting after the interval.

But despite a number of chances, they failed to find a way through with Aggie Beever-Jones then extending the visitors’ lead late on.

Durham made two changes from the side that won at London City with Emily Roberts and Dee Braldey replacing Liz Ejupi and the suspended Sarah Robson.

And the hosts began brightly and forged the first real chance of the game, with Abby Holmes seeing a powerful drive repelled by Fran Bentley in the Bristol goal.

And that save would prove crucial for the Robins as they took the lead just moments later – Harrison lofting the ball home after latching onto a defence-splitting pass.

The Scottish international twice came close to doubling Bristol’s lead but was denied by Naoisha McAloon, while Durham struggled to create any real opportunities.

But they almost found a leveller before half-time, with Rio Hardy deflecting Emily Roberts’ shot onto the post before the visitors cleared the danger.

And with half-time looming, Harrison doubled Bristol’s advantage as she volleyed home from an Ella Powell cross.

Durham showed a renewed endeavour in the second half and pushed forward in numbers – but were grateful to a fine stop from McAloon to stop Mel Johnson adding a third.

As the game wore on it was the hosts creating all the chances, with Bentley tipping wide a Sarah Wilson volley before Beth Hepple fired narrowly over from the edge of the box.

Bentley then denied Lambert from range before Abby Holmes sent a header agonisingly over the bar from Lauren Briggs’ deep cross.

Hardy had the ball in the net shortly after, but the goal was controversially chalked-off after the referee adjudged the loose ball to have been under the control of Bentley.

The Bristol stopper then denied Hepple from close range after a goalmouth scramble, before doing similarly well to keep out Kathryn Hill.

And as Durham pushed forward, Bristol hit them on the break with Beever-Jones slotting home despite a hint of offside – sealing the three points for the Robins.

Durham XI: McAloon, Hill, Briggs (Brown 90), Lambert, Wilson, Hepple, Hardy, Salicki, Bradley (Galloway 88), Roberts (Ejupi 75), Holmes

Subs not used: Borthwick, Greenwood, Christon

Attendance: 369

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