Durham hope to end London City’s unbeaten start to the year

durham-women-celebrate-championship
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Durham travel south to Princes Park Stadium to face London City Lionesses tomorrow. 

After the original fixture was postponed due to adverse weather conditions, Sunday will finally deliver the second tough Championship clash between in-form London City Lionesses and title contenders Durham.

Despite the gulf between the two sides in the table, the first of their meetings this season was a close encounter.

Durham just about managed to take away all three points, holding on to the lead provided by the ever-dependable Beth Hepple in the 44th minute. 

London City Lionesses

The home side have started the new year unbeaten, picking up three wins and two draws. 

In their most recent game against Lewes, the Lionesses battled until the very end to come away with the win. Ellie Mason’s injury-time goal rewarded them with a 3-2 victory on Valentine’s Day. 

Head coach Melissa Phillips believes her side are “ready now to attack the challenge of a team sitting at the top of the table”.

Whilst their unbeaten streak will give the London side confidence, midfielder Freda Ayisi anticipates Durham posing a tough challenge.

She said: “They have stayed consistent, and they’ve been hard to break, and they have done it for a long period of time throughout the whole season.” 

They currently sit fifth in the Championship table. Lewes are just four points behind the Lionesses with a game in hand – they could do with at least a point here to keep their mid-table rivals at arm’s length. 

Durham 

The visitors have had a fantastic 20/21 season, currently claiming second place behind Leicester City. Whilst both sides are level with 32 points, Leicester have a game in hand and superior goal difference.

Every remaining fixture is therefore a must-win for Durham if they are to have any hope of winning the title.

Durham are yet to lose a game and have only dropped points from five draws. With a goal difference of 13, they’re not the league’s most prolific goal scorers.

However, they do boast the league’s best defence, conceding just nine goals this season.

Due to cancelled fixtures and the international break, Durham haven’t played a match since their 1-0 victory against London Bees over a month ago. Durham will have to be at their organised best to make up for their lack of match sharpness.

Midfielder and Northern Ireland international Sarah Robson has commented on the difficult task ahead: “They look fitter, faster than what they were earlier in the season. We know this will be one of our hardest games in the roll-in to the end of the season.”  

London City Lionesses vs Durham will kick off at 12pm. Live reports can be found at @LC_Lionesses and @DurhamWFC. 

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