Match Report: Durham 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Durham Women returned to winning ways in the Barclays Women’s Championship after victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Saoirse Noonan’s first half brace was enough for the hosts to claim a first league win in four attempts.

Tyler Toland’s well-taken finish just before the break made the game a nervier affair, but Durham saw it out with minimal fuss.

The two sides met only a week and a half ago with the Blues victorious in the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup.

And it was Durham who struck first in this game – Noonan sending a header home from close range after Blackburn failed to clear a corner.

It took just six minutes for the striker to double her tally too, as the Irish international curled home from 20 yards after a quickly-taken free-kick.

Blackburn reduced the deficit before the break though, as they countered quickly before Toland dinked a fine finish over Saunders and in.

That didn’t deter Durham though, who started the second half as the brighter of the two sides.

Visiting stopper Alex Brooks twice did well to deny Amy Andrews before Sarah Wilson – making her 200th appearance for the club – saw a header hacked off the line.

Jess Clarke was then denied by Brooks while Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Mollie Lambert sent efforts over.

Lucy Shepherd came closest for Blackburn, heading wide at the back stick after a deep free-kick, but there was to be no late drama as Durham saw out a vital victory.

Durham XI: Saunders, Briggs, S Wilson, Robson, Lambert, Andrews (Pritchard 66), Salicki, Bradley, Noonan, Ryan-Doyle (Ayre 90+4), Clarke (Holmes 90+4)

Durham subs not used: McAloon, E Wilson, Nicholson

Goals: Noonan 23 & 29

Bookings: Lambert 70, Saunders 80, S Wilson 89, Noonan 90+6

Attendance: 659

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