Durham defeat Blades in #FAWC opener

Photo: Julian Barker

Durham defeated hosts Sheffield United 2-0 in the opening FA Women’s Championship fixture, played in front of a crowd of 412 at Stocksbridge Park Steels FC.

Emily Roberts saw her goal-bound effort for the Wildcats well cleared at the last moment by Ellie Fletcher.

Rachel Lee had perhaps Durham’s best chance of the first half but slid the effort wide from inside the box.

Sam Tierney sent a half-volley over the top of the Durham crossbar early in the second period but 12 minutes in the away side opened the scoring.

From a Beth Hepple corner the ball was flicked on and Becky Salicki nodded home from close range.

Hannah Reid was called upon to make a fine stop from Sheffield substitute Alethea Paul, whose powerful effort was tipped away from goal.

Zoe Ness sent a half-volley just wide at the other end and then a Roberts strike was turned away by Nikki Davies.

Chloe Dixon lobbed Reid only to see the ball roll wide and at the end of the 90 minutes, Tania Marsden headed just over.

The miss was swiftly punished, as Roberts scored on the rebound after the initial shot from Nicki Gears was saved.