Durham 2-3 Crystal Palace: Clinical Eagles pick up crucial victory

CHESTERFIELD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 15: Nicki Gears of Durham celebrates with her team mates after scoring her sides first goal during the Barclays FA Women's Championship match between Sheffield United and Durham at the Technique Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Chesterfield, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace handed Durham a tough defeat at Maiden Castle in a game of two halves, which was ultimately won by Palace’s ability to control the game.

The Eagles took all three points after Wilson slotted home at the far post unmarked from a Millie Farrow cross and then proceeded to restrict Durham to just half-chances for the remainder of the second half.

A perfect start for Durham saw Beth Hepple fire home from close range.

Crystal Palace levelled things up after 14 minutes through Sharpe.

Lizzie Waldie headed home after half an hour to give Palace the lead, but just five minutes later Kathryn Hill equalised for Durham from a corner.

Palace retook the lead through Wilson five minutes into the second half.

Early Durham pressure pays off

It took just nine minutes for the home side to open the scoring through Hepple, but it was down to Abbie Holmes who went on a mazy run into the box and saw her effort palmed out to the stand-in skipper.

Durham almost doubled their lead twice in quick succession as Hepple hit a long-range free-kick which appeared destined for the top corner but was just tipped over by Orman.

Palace won possession well in Durham’s half and the ball fell to Sharpe 20-yards out who caught Megan Borthwick out and swept home into the far corner.

A quick break by Hepple, who was causing problems every time she picked the ball up, almost ended up in a goal as she drove into the box only to see her low-driven effort tipped around the post.

Crystal Palace leapfrog Durham in the league

Durham failed to deal with a corner drilled toward the back post and that saw Waldie rise highest and head into the ground, and then into the roof of Borthwick’s goal.

This time Palace failed to clear their lines via a corner as Hill saw a loose ball rebound to her feet and had the simple task of slotting it into an almost empty net from a few yards out.

Palace carved Durham open down the left-hand side and a low cross from Farrow managed to go uncleared all the way to the back post before Wilson could take a touch, set herself, and slot home.

Following the third goal for Palace, Maiden Castle’s atmosphere went very flat, which was reflective of what was happening on the pitch as very few chances were created by either side.

For all of Durham’s efforts going forward, they ultimately didn’t do enough to salvage a point and this latest defeat compound their misery in the league and further dents any promotion aspirations.

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