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Durham Women went through to the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup after a powerful display saw them end the Cup run of Keynsham Town at the AJN Stadium.>
Keynsham Town 0 Durham Women 7
Durham Women went through to the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup after a powerful display saw them end the Cup run of Keynsham Town at the AJN Stadium.
The home side never gave up and went close to getting on the scoresheet themselves but Durham proved to be too strong and a brilliant midfield display from Beth Hepple was backed up by a Zoe Ness hat-trick on her return to the club following a spell in Sweden.
Keynsham started the game brightly and passed the ball around well without really threatening the Durham goal during the opening stages. Playing their first competitive game for three months, the visitors took a short while to settle down before the quarter hour, when a strike from Rachel Lee was well turned wide by Colette Bell. The resulting corner, taken by Hepple, picked out Ness at the near post where she steered her header into the far corner to open the scoring.
Before Keynsham could recover from the setback, they found themselves two goals behind. Another Hepple set piece, this time a free kick, was not dealt with by the Keynsham defence and Sarah McFadden was on hand to sweep the ball home from six yards.
Hepple herself went close with a 20-yard strike which sailed just over and Emily Roberts fired over at the far post following a good run and cross from Jordan Atkinson as Durham sought more goals before the break. A third goal was to come as Ellie Christon floated in a cross from deep, Jade Lorton-Radburn got a touch to the ball but could only divert it straight to Ness who produced a confident first time finish.
Durham made a double substitution at half time with Natalie Gutteridge and Annabel Johnson coming on but looked just as strong when the game resumed. Five minutes after the restart, Ness found space down the left and sent in a looping cross to the far post, Gutteridge reacting quickest for a simple header from close range.
Shortly afterwards, after winning a free kick near the corner flag on the right, Hepple's cross was not held by Bell and Becky Salicki pounced on the loose ball to drill home Durham's fifth.
Durham were moving the ball around quickly with Hepple at the heart of most things, well backed up by Lee and McFadden in midfield. They were to make it six just after the hour, although with an element of luck this time as a cross from the left by Ness dipped over a helpless Bell and inside the far post for her hat-trick goal.
Keynsham captain Rachel Cullen tried to rally her team and the home side kept battling with Nadine Grogan winning a number of important challenges. Durham continued to look very threatening from set pieces and another Hepple corner nearly led to another goal, this time McFadden's header was clawed away well by Bell.
Bell made another good save to keep out a Ness volley after Emily Roberts had cut the ball back from the line and Durham were to go even closer when Lee's through ball released Ness whose shot was blocked by Bell, the rebound falling for Gutteridge but Hannah Davies did well to get back and clear off the line.
The pressure was to tell though and a strong run by Hepple took her through on goal, Bell again made a good block but Roberts was on to slot home the rebound, despite Davies' efforts to keep the ball out.
To their credit, Keynsham never gave up and tried hard to salvage a late goal. They were unlucky not to score when Jade Lorton-Radburn unleashed a shot from long range which looked destined for the corner but Megan Borthwick pulled off an excellent diving save.
Good defending from Johnson denied Justine Lorton-Radburn a good chance from Katie Cook's cross and Borthwick needed to be alert to come off her line and make a smothering save at the feet of Yasmin Pratt as she chased a long through ball.
After a good season in WSL 2 last time around, Durham served notice that they will be serious contenders in the upcoming Spring Series and Keynsham can take heart from their efforts against a team which was too strong on the day.
Colette Bell, Danielle Beazer (sub Jess Osborne 57mins), Andreea Alexandru (sub Hannah Davies 57mins), Rachel Cullen, Jade Lorton-Radburn, Nadine Grogan, Geovana Alves, Cristina Vega Leandro (sub Yasmin Pratt 64mins), Katie Cook, Justine Lorton-Radburn, Stacey Pearson.
Helen Alderson (sub Megan Borthwick 77mins), Ellie Christon, Jen Jennings (sub Annabel Johnson 45mins), Becky Salicki, Sarah Wilson, Sarah McFadden, Beth Hepple, Zoe Ness, Rachel Lee, Emily Roberts, Jordan Atkinson (sub Natalie Gutteridge 45mins).
(top) Justine Lorton-Radburn is shadowed by Jen Jennings and Becky Salicki
(middle) Natalie Gutteridge heads in the fourth goal
(bottom) Zoe Ness gets in a shot past Jess Osborne
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