Record crowd watch Man City dump Durham Women out of the cup

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Durham Women suffered a 4-0 defeat in the fourth round of the FA Cup to Women’s Super League title chasers, Manchester City. Jill Roord scored a wonderful brace, sandwiched by Laura Coombs opener and Mary Fowler’s late effort.

Durham walked out to a maximum capacity, record crowd of 2381 at Sunday lunchtime. Despite the sun, conditions were frigid, and it seemed that Durham froze in the first ten minutes. Within five minutes, a short corner from City drew an impressive save from Naoisha McAloon, who would be busy all day long in the Durham net. Only two minutes, she was helpless as a strike from the edge of the box cannoned against her crossbar and back into play. Finally, in the eighth minute, Durham’s luck ran out. Coombs strode onto a neat, lofted ball across and McAloon could only palm her right-footed volley into the top right corner. Only a heroic double save from Durham’s Irish keeper two m minutes later spared Durham an embarrassing first ten minutes.

Finally, Durham began to warm up, yet still struggled to get hold of the ball in City’s half. City number niner, Khadija Shaw, inexplicably squared the ball when one-on-one with the keeper, misplacing the pass and watching it roll out of play. Lily Crosthwaite conjured Durham’s first effort with half an hour gone but sent her effort straight down Khiara Keating’s throat.

The gulf in quality was evident, but there was little to be done to stop world-class players. All three goalscorers played at the World Cup in the summer

Coombs shot down the centre, then at the other end, Saoirse Noonan bobbled a weak shot into Keating’s hands. Then came one of two world-class moments from the City squad. Midfielder Roord picked the ball up on the edge of the box and arced a shot perfectly into the top left corner. Absolute postage stamp. It was looking like a long way back for Durham going into the second half.

City didn’t let up. Shaw persevered, seeking a goal, but could only place her lob wide and then flash a snapshot over the bar a couple of minutes after. Euro 2021 winner, Chloe Kelly, looked dangerous all game and brought a superb save from McAloon down to her left. Shaw fired over the crossbar again.

Eventually, City’s dominance told once again. Picking up the ball in the 70th minute, Roord drove towards the Durham box and found England superstar, Lauren Hemp. Her scooped through ball proved perfect, as the onrushing Roord casually lifted the ball over McAloon for her second goal of the match.

Intent on maximising their advantage, City kept coming at the Wildcats. One half volley flew over, they had a goal disallowed, and contrived to miss an open goal following another good save from McAloon. A fourth goal was added soon after when Fowler tidied up after a scramble in the box, executing her reverse low finish perfectly. The gulf in quality was evident, but there was little to be done to stop world-class players. All three goalscorers played at the World Cup in the summer.

After the match, Sarah Wilson spoke to the club media: ‘I think that shows, the team they put out against us today, showed how much respect they brought to us at home. As a defender, there’s not an awful lot you can do when you have those sorts of players running at you. All credit to the girls. Their attitude was incredible.’

Durham Women’s next fixture comes on Sunday against second from bottom Lewes, hoping to chase down promotion hopefuls.

Durham XI: McAloon, Briggs, Robson, S. Wilson, Salicki, Lambert, Bradley (E. Wilson 65), Hepple, Crosthwaite, Andrews (Pritchard 56), Noonan (Ryan-Doyle 65)

Man City XI: Keating, Casparij (Houghton 70), Aleixandri, Greenwood (Moran 65), Ouahabi, Coombs (Fowler 67), Hasegawa (Mace 65), Kelly, Roord, Hemp, Shaw (Park 67)

Image: Alfie Seymour

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