Durham Women sealed their passage into the Fourth Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup with a hard-fought victory at Peterborough United.
Rio Hardy’s stunning second half strike was enough for the visitors against their disciplined and resilient hosts.
In their first game of 2023, Durham started brightly and looked to dictate the play early on – with Georgia Robert warming the palms of opposition stopper Neave Corry with an early drive from range.
Beth Hepple then turned Jess Clarke’s low centre narrowly wide with Mollie Lambert then sending a rasping effort over after a Hepple free-kick wasn’t fully cleared.
As chances continued to come, Hardy was denied by more fine goalkeeping from Corry as she looked to divert home Clarke’s deflected strike.
Dee Bradley and Lily Crosthwaite both had sights of goal before the break, but Peterborough’s determined display kept clear-cut chances to a minimum.
And that was much the case after the break too, although Hepple did see a powerful free-kick repelled by the home ‘keeper early on.
Corry then had to claw a Hardy effort off the line after fumbling – but the striker wouldn’t be denied for long.
After finding space 30 yards from goal, Hardy unleashed a superb strike which flew into the roof of the net to hand Durham a deserved lead.
Only last-ditch defending from Evie Driscoll-King then denied Hardy a second shortly after, before Hepple sent a trademark free-kick brushing past the near post.
It continued to be all Durham as the game entered its dying stages, but Peterborough continued to frustrate and limit their visitors with some resolute defensive work.
Lauren Briggs’ return from injury was a welcome boost late in the game, while Saoirse Noonan and Robert both came close to adding spectacular seconds late on.
But one goal was enough for the Wildcats – who will now face Crystal Palace in the Fourth Round.
Peterborough W vs Durham W
(Click here to View the Goal)
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|January 8, 2023||1:00 pm||FA Cup||2022_2023||90'|