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Durham Women 0 Bristol City 0
The Wildcats were held to their first goalless draw of the season against an impressive Bristol City side in the important clash at New Ferens Park.
Durham, who sat third following last weekend's victory over Aston Villa, dealt with some pressure from the visitors in the first half. But after the break it was a different story, with Beth Hepple twice forcing Caitlin Leach into fine saves.
Lee Sanders picked an unchanged team from the victory over Villa, and his side almost got off to a dream start when Sarah McFadden found space on the edge of the area, only to fire high and wide. The visitors were looking lively, though, and after Helen Alderson couldn't hold Chloe Arthur's delivery, Sarah Wilson had to be alert to clear as Millie Farrow lurked.
Chances continued to flow, and Leach was at her best to tip Emily Roberts' curler from the edge of the area over the bar. Wilson then made a vital interception to stop Farrow breaking through, before she then did well to clear Georgia Evans' teasing cross.
After surviving some pressure towards the end of the first half, the Wildcats started brightly after the interval with Roberts and substitute Natalie Gutteridge combining well before the former fired straight at Leach. Durham continued to press forward and after seeing a free kick blocked by the wall, Hepple struck a half volley which Leach held at full stretch.
The visiting goalkeeper then denied the same player moments later, tipping a powerful effort around the post. This was the main opportunity for the hosts, with Leach comfortably holding a Gutteridge drive late on as the game petered out.
A point each leaves both sides in contention for promotion as they enter the final stretch of the season, second placed City stay four points ahead of Durham who have two games in hand.
Durham Women: Helen Alderson, Ellie Christon, Becky Salicki, Sarah Wilson, Chloe Macek (sub Nicola Gibson 60mins), Beth Hepple, Sarah McFadden, Rachel Lee, Emily Roberts, Jordan Atkinson (sub Tyler Dodds 81mins), Sarah Eadon (sub Natalie Gutteridge 45mins). Subs not used: Megan Elliott, Courtney Corrie, Mercy Darkoah.
Bristol City: Caitlin Leach, Grace McCatty, Frankie Brown, Katie Jones (sub Olivia Fergusson 72mins), Megan Alexander, Georgia Evans, Flo Allen, Claire Emslie, Charlie Estcourt, Chloe Arthur, Millie Farrow. (sub Rhian Cleverly 89mins). Subs not used: Hannah Reid, Hayley Ladd, Paige Sawyer, Ellie Wilson, Poppy Wilson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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