Durham Women saw their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the FA Women’s Continental Tyres Cup come to an end with defeat at Aston Villa.
The Blues were competitive throughout and held their hosts at bay for the first half, before Canadian international Adriana Leon struck after the restart.
Rachel Corsie then added a second before Lioness Rachel Daly netted a hat-trick to put the Barclays Women’s Super League side in command.
Amy Andrews scored a well-taken goal late on but it was only a consolation for Durham.
Durham started brightly and had the first real chance of the game on seven minutes as Eleanor Ryan-Doyle dug out a clipped shot which Anna Leat comfortably claimed.
The hosts, though, grew into the game and only a sublime goal-line block from Beth Hepple prevented Lucy Parker’s strike from finding the bottom corner after a corner wasn’t fully cleared.
For the most part, the Blues limited Villa to half chances – but as the half wore on, the top tier side started to create more.
Leon volleyed wide at the back stick from Kirsty Hanson’s deep cross before Naoisha McAloon had to deny Ebony Salmon after she burst through on goal.
But Villa would net an opener just three minutes after the restart – Hanson breaking into the box and squaring for Leon who slotted home from six yards out.
And they would double their lead before the hour mark as Corsie leapt highest to head home at the back post from a pinpoint Leon delivery.
Durham almost reduced the deficit shortly after through Lily Crosthwaite who picked up Mollie Lambert’s pass and drove into the box before fizzing a strike narrowly wide of the far post.
Half-time substitute Erin Nicholson then saw a header cleared off the line, before England international Daly added a third for the hosts – glancing home from Sarah Mayling’s cross.
Daly then missed a golden chance to make it four after latching onto Salmon’s reverse pass and firing wide when one-on-one.
But the Lioness wouldn’t be denied again – slotting home from 12 yards after picking up a loose ball in the penalty area.
Crosthwaite then struck the woodwork as Durham looked for a route back into the game, with her powerful header from Poppy Pritchard’s delivery clipping the woodwork.
Durham would get the goal their endeavour deserved late on as Andrews kept her cool to dink the ball home after Crosthwaite’s well-weighted through ball.
But Villa retaliated quickly as Daly sent home a superb finish from a tight angle to complete her hat-trick – and the scoring for the evening.
|December 13, 2023
|Continental Tyres League Cup