4th Dec, 2021

FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies secure first league win against Durham

RIO Hardy’s 87th minute strike sealed a 1-0 win for Coventry United Ladies against Durham which marked the Red and Greens first league success of the season.

 

Hardy’s fine effort three minutes from time ended Coventry’s nine-game winless run and moved United off the foot of the FA Women’s Championship table.

 

The Red and Greens are now above Watford on goal difference in 11th place ahead of the two teams meeting in their next league fixture six days before Christmas.

 

Durham started brightly and should have taken the lead when Beth Hepple’s cross from the right was glanced wide by Bridget Galloway from a few yards out.

 

The away side looked the more likely side to break the deadlock in the first-half and spurned another chance when Mollie Lambert drove into the box before slicing an effort wide of goal.

 

And Coventry had goalkeeper Lucy Thomas to thank for remaining level early in the second period when she expertly tipped Emily Roberts’ shot onto the bar.

 

Jay Bradford’s side rode their luck again when Galloway was played through only to blaze her effort wide of the target.

 

Durham thought they had finally found a way through when Lily Crosthwaite touched home following a set-piece only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

 

And Coventry almost took the lead soon after when Durham goalkeeper Megan Borthwick was caught in possession on the edge of the penalty area before the ball broke to Katie Wilkinson who looped an effort onto the crossbar.

 

Wilkinson came close again when she headed narrowly wide of the right-hand post from a corner from the left.

 

And the bar was rattled again in the final quarter of an hour when Sarah Robson’s flicked header came back off the crossbar.

 

Another corner from the left caused Coventry problems in the final few minutes after the ball squirmed through the hands of Thomas only for the United stopper to gratefully gather the ball before it crossed the line.

 

But despite Durham’s late pressure – it was Coventry who would snatch the points.

 

A long ball forward was collected by Hardy who cut inside of her marker and fired a sublime curling effort into the top left corner from the right-hand side of the penalty area with three minutes left to play.

 

There was still time for one final Durham chance when Dee Bradley’s header hit the crossbar from yet another corner before Johnson punched the ball to safety to ensure Coventry went home with the points.

 

The Red and Greens take an extended break from action over the next few weeks before returning to the pitch against Women’s Super League side Tottenham Hotspur in the Contintental League Cup on Wednesday, December 15 with kick-off at 7:45pm at Butts Park Arena.

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