Durham 2-0 Charlton Athletic: Wildcats cruise to second home 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)

It was an impressive and comfortable afternoon for Durham who scored early in both the first and second half to give themselves their second win of the season as they breezed past Charlton Athletic.

Charlton struggled to deal with the intensity and pace at which Durham played the game which was highlighted by their best chance being an effort from all of 35-yards.

A perfect start for Durham saw Kathryn Hill smash an effort right into the top scorner after just three minutes.

Beth Hepple doubled Durham’s lead from the penalty spot 10 minutes in the second half which knocked the stuffing out of Charlton.

It was a simply stunning strike from Hill, Hepple’s cross was recycled back out wide to Hill who, on the turn, unleased a venomous effort from the corner of the box leaving Cumings with no chance.

Durham double seal all three points

Some good build-up play from Durham saw them switch the play from left to right before Holmes burst past Beth Roe, although her teasing cross couldn’t quite be directed goal bound by Lambert.

It was almost so close to 2-0 as Holmes again caused havoc down the right-hand side which made Cumings come out to try and win the ball, leaving her goal open.

Holmes’ effort from the tightest of angles was headed off the line before Lauren Briggs saw her follow up half volley magnificent cleared off the line once again by Godfrey who certainly kept Charlton in the game.

It was a great turn from Lambert in the middle of the pitch that started the move before threading through Briggs down the left and her cross was cleared onto the arm of a Charlton defender which saw the referee point to the spot.

It was of course, Hepple who stepped up and calmly slotted home into the bottom right corner, sending Cumings the wrong way.

Charlton unable to trouble Durham at both ends of the pitch

Charlton’s first sighting of goal came on the hour mark via a long ball from the back which saw Megan Wynne through on goal but she was denied by the onrushing Brothwick who just got enough on the ball to avoid giving away a penalty.

Durham almost added a third in the final minute of the 90 when second-half substitute Ejupi met Hepple’s in-swinging corner but it was well held by Cumings near the top corner.

In the final minute of added time, Charlton had their best chance when Lois Roche pumped a free-kick into the box from 35-yards out which got caught up in the wind and crashed back out off the crossbar.

Player of the Match

Despite only playing about an hour of the match, Bridget Galloway will have given the Charlton defenders nightmares.

Her pace, willingness to run and ability to come deep and then run at defenders was superb and what really helped Durham pin the visitor’s back for the majority of the match.

Galloway didn’t get many opportunities to register her first goal of the season, but her contribution was much more than that and her willingness to never stop running helped Durham execute their game plan to perfection.

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