BY YASH MUDUMBAI
Durham kept pace with the sides at the top of the FA Women’s Championship after they produced a five-star performance to outclass Millwall Lionesses.
The Wildcats continued their unbeaten start to the league season by scoring five against the home side, who remain with a solitary point this season.
Durham scored twice in the opening five minutes, as Beth Hepple curled in a free-kick and Nicki Gears had an easy tap in from an Emily Roberts counter-attack on the left-hand side.
Evie Clarke gave the home side immediate hope as she powered through from kick-off to score past Hannah Reid, but Hepple scored her second to restore the visitors’ two-goal advantage.
After that manic opening, the Wildcats starting to dominate and had chances to extend the lead. Lionesses goalkeeper Chloe Sansom made several great saves throughout.
Millwall courageously tried to attack when they could, and Gabby Ravenscroft had a couple of strikes saved by Hannah Reid.
With minutes remaining in the first half, Sarah Wilson blasted home from close range to give the visitors a 4-1 lead heading into the break.
In the second half, despite a missed penalty from the visitors, Zoe Ness was able to calmly finish at the near post from a cross to make it five goals.
Millwall tried their best to get back into the contest, but Durham’s resolute defence did not allow them to score another and kept the score at 5-1.
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Following the defeat Millwall manager Chris Phillips said: “I can’t say the result flattered them because Durham are a good side.
“They were sitting fourth in the league, they’ve done ever so well and there is a reason why they are there. But I think a few of their goals came from individual errors as opposed to them really breaking us down.
“Unfortunate, but we will analyse and move forward. For us to be on the scoresheet against this team, and we could have had a few more today, shows that our front players are doing well.”
IMAGE BY KEITH GILLARD