Durham Women suffered defeat in their first game of 2022 – despite creating numerous chances against an in-form Crystal Palace.
The Wildcats started brightly and took an early lead through Beth Hepple, before goals from Molly Sharpe and Lizzie Waldie turned the game on its head.
Kathryn Hill then drew the Wildcats level again but Siobhan Wilson’s second half strike proved enough for the Eagles.
After seeing their clash with Lewes postponed last weekend, Durham started the game like a coiled spring and came close in the opening minutes – Danielle Brown seeing a powerful strike palmed over by Emily Orman.
And the hosts wouldn’t have to wait long for an opener, as Hepple slotted home from inside the area after a cut-back from Abby Holmes.
Palace almost struck back immediately as Leanne Cowan saw an effort whistle narrowly wide, but they were indebted to their goalkeeper in the opening exchanges.
Orman first denied Hepple from a dipping free-kick, before Bradley’s header from a corner landed just the wrong side of the crossbar.
The visiting stopper was then again called into action to deny Hepple after she pounced on a loose ball – and the significance of those saves would become apparent when Palace drew level.
After Durham failed to clear their lines, Sharpe swept into the far corner to bring the game level.
That buoyed the Eagles, who then took the lead when Waldie steered home a corner at the back post.
But their lead would be short-lived as the Wildcats scored from a corner themselves – Hill prodding home after Palace couldn’t clear their lines.
Briggs then saw a curler held by Orman as the hosts ended the half stronger, but with just five minutes on the clock after the restart Palace regained their advantage.
A low cross couldn’t be cleared and Wilson was on hand to fire home.
Liz Ejupi almost brought Durham immediately level with an audacious effort from the halfway line that dropped narrowly over the bar, before the striker turned provider and teed-up Briggs – only for Orman to again intervene and push the ball away.
The Wildcats saw plenty of the ball late on but struggled to carve out any real openings, with the Eagles heading back to South London with the points.


Durham W v Crystal Palace W

Beth Hepple v Crystal Palace 7 mins 1-0
(Click here for larger image) / (Click here to View the Goal)


Kathryn Hill v Crystal Palace 35 mins 2-2
(Click here for larger image) / (Click here to View the Goal)


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Date Time League Season Full Time
January 16, 2022 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 W202Loss
Crystal Palace W213Win

Durham W

1Naoisha McAloon Goalkeeper
2Kathryn Hill Defender 35'
3Lauren Briggs Midfielder
4Mollie Lambert Midfielder
5Sarah Wilson Defender
6Sarah Robson Midfielder
7Beth Hepple Midfielder 7'
10Rio Hardy 18 Forward
11Bridget Galloway 37 Forward
13Megan Borthwick Goalkeeper
14Becky Salicki Defender
15Dee Bradley Defender
16Ellie Christon 24 Defender
17Emily Roberts Forward
18Danielle Brown 10 Forward
21Hannah Greenwood Defender
24Abby Holmes 16 Defender 53'
37Liz Ejupi 11 Forward