Durham Women’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup remain alive after a penalty win over Sheffield United.
Amy Andrews put the Blues ahead in the first half before Jess Sigsworth levelled late on to send the game to spot kicks.
And Naoisha McAloon was again the hero, saving three penalties as Durham sealed the bonus point.
Claire Ditchburn made five changes from the side that were beaten at Birmingham City, with McAloon, Andrews, Becky Salicki, Ella Wilson and Erin Nicholson all handed starts.
The Blades made five changes of their own and started brightly, with Durham having to remain alert to clear a number of early crosses.
McAloon did well to thwart Tamara Wilcock after a neat exchange in the area but the Blues’ stopper remained relatively untroubled despite the visitors seeing more of the ball in the early exchanges.
But Durham grew into the game and started to create the better of the chances – Saoirse Noonan sending an effort from 20 yards wide before Lily Crosthwaite was denied by a strong save from Eleanor Heeps.
Andrews then came within inches of an opener when she peeled free from a corner and fired against the post.
The forward would net with her next sight of goal though, keeping cool to dink the ball over Heeps after stealing possession deep in the opposition half.
Sheffield finished the half strongly with Jodie Hutton firing a free-kick from the edge of the area narrowly over and Bex Rayner fizzing her strike just above the upright.
It was a similar pattern after the second half with the visitors seeing much of the ball without seriously testing McAloon – although the ‘keeper did have to hold a long-range effort from Wilcock.
There were few clear-cut chances after the interval, and it took until ten minutes before the end for a clear sight of goal – and it brought the Blades level.
Substitute Sigsworth latched onto a through ball before powering home a shot at the near post to level the scores.
And another substitute almost won it for the Blades in added time – Izzy Goodwin nodding over with her first touch.
But there was to be no late breakthrough meaning the tie headed to penalties for the bonus point.
After both teams netted their first five spot-kicks, the Blades twice had chances to win it only to be denied by McAloon.
And then after Grace Ayre converted Durham’s tenth kick, the stopper denied Juliet Adibowale-Arimoro to seal a shootout win.



Date Time League Season Full Time
November 23, 2023 7:00 pm Continental Tyres League Cup 2023_24 90'


Maiden Castle, Durham
City of Durham, County Durham, North East England, England, DH1 3SE, United Kingdom


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
Durham W101Draw
Sheffield Utd W011Draw

Durham W

1Naoisha McAloon Goalkeeper
3Lauren Briggs Midfielder
5Sarah Wilson 18 Defender
6Sarah Robson Midfielder
7Beth Hepple 21 Midfielder
8Mollie Lambert 24 Midfielder
9Amy Andrews Forward 31'
14Becky Salicki Defender
15Dee Bradley Defender
17Poppy Pritchard Forward
18Grace Ayre 5 Defender
19Ella Wilson 22 Defender
20Saoirse Noonan Forward
21Erin Nicholson 7 Midfielder
22Eleanor Ryan-Doyle 19 Forward
24Abby Holmes 8 Defender
30Tatiana Saunders Goalkeeper
12Lily Crosthwaite Forward