Match Report: Sunderland 2-2 Durham (Durham Win 3-1 On Penalties)

Durham Women claimed a well-deserved penalty victory over local rivals Sunderland in the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup.

Mollie Lambert put Durham ahead with just four minutes on the clock but goals from Natasha Fenton and Brianna Westrup saw the hosts in control at the break.

And it remained that way until second half injury time when Saoirse Noonan struck to send the game to penalties – where Naoisha McAloon as the hero as she saved three Sunderland spot-kicks.

Both sides made changes from Sunday’s league meeting, but the switch in personnel didn’t disrupt Durham who took the lead early on.

Eleanor Ryan-Doyle’s persistence allowed Lambert to burst into the box and she fired into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

That lead lasted just ten minutes though, as Fenton nodded home from a corner to restore parity.

Poppy Pritchard then struck the bar as Durham looked to regain the advantage, but it was Sunderland who headed into the break as Westup diverted home a teasing free-kick.

There was still time for chances at both ends before half-time though, as Katy Watson had a goal disallowed for offside before Megan Borthwick made a fine save to deny Amy Andrews.

Durham were much the better side after the break though with Andrews twice denied by Borthwick either side of Abby Holmes fizzing a volley over the bar.

Noonan’s introduction, alongside Jess Clarke, sparked further chances with the Irish international twice sending efforts narrowly wide.

And it would be she who drew Durham level as she reacted quickest to bundle home after the hosts failed to clear Becky Salicki’s cross.

That sent the tie to penalties for a bonus point, where McAloon saved from Emily Scarr, Watson and Ellen Jones to secure a 3-1 victory – after Noonan, Andrews and Salicki converted.

Durham XI: McAloon, S Wilson, Lambert, Andrews, Crosthwaite (Clarke 75), Salicki, Bradley, Pritchard (Noonan 75), E Wilson, Ryan-Doyle, Holmes

Subs not used: Saunders, Hepple

Goal: Lambert 8, Noonan 90+3

Bookings: E Wilson 48

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