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Watford 0 Durham Women 3 (Hepple 38, Atkinson 61, Purfield 89)
Watford suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat at home to Durham Women in a match where both sides had a number of chances.
Despite creating opportunities, especially in the first half, the Lady Hornets were unable to find a way past a stern Durham defence.
Beth Hepple, Jordan Atkinson and Jemma Purfield got the goals for the visitors who deservedly took all three points back to the North East.
It was an entertaining start to the game with both sides having shots on goal in the opening five minutes. Josie Green for Watford and Emily Scott for the visitors both had ambitious efforts from distance early on. After Scott's shot, the ball went down the other end and Jo Wilson had a great chance which was saved by Durham keeper, Danielle Hill.
Again the two sides had similar openings within minutes of each other, first Green was set up by Megan Wynne, her strike from just outside the area going inches past the post. Then Zoe Ness had an effort from the edge of the box which was also only narrowly away from being on target.
Durham would take the lead on 26 minutes, Ness played the ball through to Hepple who found the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards out.
The away side were trying their luck anytime they got within shooting range. After a run from defence, Jen King fired just over. Watford responded well in the final ten minutes of the half, Wynne lobbed the onrushing Hill but a Durham defender got back to clear off the line. Chloe Gunn almost levelled it on 39 minutes with a great effort, she directed Wynne's cross towards goal but Hill managed to get a hand to it before a Durham defender again cleared.
Emma Beckett had the final chance of the first half, rising highest from a corner but could not direct it away from Hill.
The Golden Girls would also impress at the start of the second, keeping the ball well. Jo Wilson had the best chance, getting away from her defender before shooting straight at Hill.
Despite a promising opening fifteen minutes, Durham got the crucial second just after the hour through a moment of magic. Atkinson tried her luck from 35 yards out and it was to prove a good decision as her fantastic effort looped into the top corner leaving Lauren Davey with no chance.
Watford, to their credit, responded well after the goal but were unable to create a clear cut opportunity at Hill's goal. Davey meanwhile had to be sharp to prevent the visitors getting a third, first denying Beth Jennings and then Emily Scott with a great save.
Wynne was on the receiving end of some rough tackles just before the end of the game, she picked herself up to take a 25-yard free kick, her strike was on target but comfortable for Hill.
Durham would get their third in injury time. A mix up at the back presented Purfield with an empty net to seal the victory for the Wildcats with her first goal for the club.
Watford: Lauren Davey, Georgia Mays, Chloe Gunn, Renee Hector, Hollie Wride, Josie Green (sub Magda Mosengo 67mins), Emma Beckett (sub Paige Logie 73mins), Stacie Donnelly, Jo Wilson, Megan Wynne, Kim Farrow. Subs not used: Shayla Burgess, Ellie Butterwick, Ella Hill, Grace Gillard.
Durham Women: Danielle Hill, Ellie Christon, Jennifer King, Yasmine Hardy (sub Jemma Purfield 45mins), Gemma Wilson, Caroline Dixon, Beth Hepple, Emily Scott, Zoe Ness, Jordan Atkinson (sub Becky Hanratty 87mins), Beth Jennings (sub Jess Round 89mins). Subs not used: Anne Moorhouse, Kate Bradley.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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