Durham Women ended 2021 on a high note after victory over Blackburn Rovers.
The Wildcats were dominant throughout and reacted well to Ellie Leek’s early goal against the run of play – with an Abby Holmes brace and Becky Salicki’s strike securing victory.
There was just one change from the side that beat Leeds United last weekend as Holmes replaced Emily Roberts, and the Wildcats picked-up where they left-off and began on the front foot.
Mollie Lambert saw a powerful early effort pushed wide by Alex Brooks before Bridget Galloway saw a low strike held.
But in their first real foray forward, Blackburn took the lead – Leek scrambling the ball home after some confusion at the back.
Durham weren’t deterred though, and almost equalised within seconds after Lambert sent a looping shot narrowly over the bar.
And an ideal chance to level came on 16 minutes when Galloway was brought down in the box, with referee Stacey Fullicks awarding the penalty.
But Beth Hepple’s effort from 12 yards came back off the post, before Dee Bradley saw an effort ruled out for offside just moments later.
The Wildcats were pushing and probing but it looked as if the fates were conspiring against them – until Holmes took matters into her own hands.
After a barn-storming run from her own half, the left-back unleashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner to bring the hosts level.
And Durham could have been ahead before the break, Lambert striking the post after a slick counter-attacking move.
A second goal would come just moments after the second half began though – Holmes bundling home from close range after Brooks spilled a dinked cross.
It was one-way traffic, with Helen Seed doing well to nod a goalbound effort from Lauren Briggs off the line as the Wildcats poured forward.
It seemed only a matter of time until a third goal came, and so it did on the hour mark as Salicki peeled away from her marker and spectacularly volleyed home from Hepple’s corner.
There were plenty of further chances to extend the lead – the tireless Galloway sending a looped cross from Sarah Robson narrowly wide and Hepple seeing a header flash just over the bar.
But three would be enough as the Wildcats secured a vital three points.


Durham W v Blackburn W

Abby Holmes v Blackburn 38 mins 1-1
(Click here for larger image) /(Click here to View the Goal)


Abby Holmes v Blackburn 46 mins 2-1
(Click here for larger image) /(Click here to View the Goal)


Becky Salicki v Blackburn 60 mins 3-1
(Click here for larger image) /(Click here to View the Goal)


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Date Time League Season Full Time
December 19, 2021 12:00 pm Women's Championship 2021_2022 0'


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


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
Durham W123Win
Blackburn W101Loss

Durham W

2Kathryn Hill 6 Defender
3Lauren Briggs Midfielder
4Mollie Lambert Midfielder
5Sarah Wilson Defender
6Sarah Robson 2 Midfielder
7Beth Hepple Midfielder
11Bridget Galloway Forward
12Lily Crosthwaite Forward
13Megan Borthwick Goalkeeper
14Becky Salicki Defender 60'
15Dee Bradley 21 Defender
16Ellie Christon Defender
17Emily Roberts 18 Forward
18Danielle Brown 17 Forward
20Grace Ayre Defender
21Hannah Greenwood 15 Defender
24Abby Holmes Defender 38', 46'
30Brooke Mackain Goalkeeper
0Erin Nicholson Midfielder