Durham Women exited the Continental Tyres Cup after defeat at top tier side West Ham United.
The Wildcats put in a spirited display but were undone by goals from Emily Van Egmond, Katerina Svitkova and Hawa Cissoko at crucial moments in the game.
Lee Sanders made a host of changes to the side, handing Dee Bradley a full debut while Abby Holmes returned to the side.
And Durham had to do plenty of defending in the early stages as West Ham and their side packed full of internationals dominated the ball.
But despite bossing possession, the hosts struggled to seriously test Hannah Reid as they showed plenty of endeavour but little quality.
Having soaked up that early pressure, the Wildcats set about making their mark on the game and began to fashion some chances.
So-Hyun Cho did well to pinch the ball off the toe of Mollie Lambert as she looked to break into the area, before Molly Sharpe drilled an effort wide from 20 yards.
Indeed, the best chance of the opening stages fell to Durham – with Sarah Robson seeing a curler from 25 yards superbly tipped over the bar by Mackenzie Arnold.
But just as the visitors were beginning to cause the Hammers some problems, they were dealt a sucker-punch – as Van Egmond’s flick from a corner looped over Reid and in with 40 minutes on the clock.
And West Ham would double their lead before the break after a quick counter-attack which saw Adriana Leon square for Svitkova, with the Czech Republic international applying the simple finish.
Durham made some changes at the break, with Bridget Galloway and Emily Roberts introduced as the side looked to push forward.
Galloway was straight into the thick of the action, seeing a shot saved by Arnold, as the Wildcats bossed the early stages of the second half.
Reid was still called into action on occasion though, saving from Leon after a ball fell kindly for her in the area.
Better was to come from the stopper, as she denied substitute Martha Thomas from point-blank range before then stopping Svitkova from a second goal with an equally fine stop.
Durham showed plenty of attacking endeavour as the half wore on and got the ball in plenty of promising positions as they sought the crucial goal that could have made for a tense finale.
But once again, the Hammers netted at a crucial time as Cissoko bundled home from a corner – despite hints of a foul on Reid in the box.
That didn’t deter Durham, who continued to press forward in the dying stages – as they left London out the Continental Cup, but definitely not down.
Durham W vs Charlton W
|January 21, 2021||5:30 pm||Continental Tyres League Cup||2020_2021||0'|