Durham Women suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Crystal Palace.
Elise Hughes’ four-goal haul and a hat-tricks from Annabel Blanchard were added to by Hayley Nolan and Molly Sharpe as the hosts secured the three points.
Poppy Pritchard netted late on but it was an afternoon to forget for Durham.
There were few clear-cut chances in the early stages, although Mollie Lambert did twice threaten out wide only to see her crosses well-defended.
But as the game grew on, Palace started to implement themselves and should have taken the lead when a Paige Bailey-Gayle cross found Molly Sharpe in space, but she fired over at the back post.
The hosts would take the lead on 15 minutes through – Nolan sending home a fine effort from the edge of the box after a sustained spell of pressure.
That rallied Durham who created their best chance of the game shortly after – Saoirse Noonan picking out Lambert whose low cross was flicked towards goal by Amy Andrews, only for a Palace defender to clear off the line.
Noonan then came agonisingly close to connecting with a teasing Jess Clarke cross at the back stick as the visitors held most of the momentum.
So it was somewhat against the run of play that Palace doubled their lead as Blanchard slotted home after a quick counter-attack.
And Blanchard would double her tally in ten minutes of additional time, slotting home a penalty after Hughes went down in the area.
Durham started the second half strongly but soon found themselves four behind as Blanchard nodded home for her hat-trick.
Hughes would then make it five as she fired past McAloon from close range after a low Dennis cut-back, before adding the sixth with a near identical finish.
Sharpe then nodded home a seventh from a deep cross, before Hughes bundled home a corner.
Kirsten Reilly struck the bar late before Hughes netted her fourth late on.
Pritchard pulled on back in injury time, chasing a long ball and rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home, but it was merely a consolation.
|September 10, 2023||12:00 pm||BWC||2023_24||90'|