Golden Girls are hit for four by ruthless Durham Women

Watford Ladies in action against Durham last season. Picture (c) AW Images
Watford Ladies in action against Durham last season. Picture (c) AW Images
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Watford Ladies were defeated by Durham Women at the weekend, with the Wildcats winning 4-0 in the North East.

The hosts were two up at the break thanks to goals from Courtney Corrie and Jordan Atkinson. Beth Hepple could have made it three in the second half but Shayla Burgess superbly denied her from the penalty spot.

It wouldn’t prove to be a turning point, however, as Corrie got her second of the game before former Golden Girl, Sasha Adamson, rounded off the scoring.

There was only one change to the Watford side that narrowly lost to Reading last time out, with Grace Gillard replacing Mollie Burgess.

It was a fairly quiet start to the game, with no opportunities of note in the opening 10 minutes. In the space of 60 seconds afterwards, Stacie Donnelly and Tricia Gould had attempts from distance, the latter forcing Durham keeper Anna Moorhouse to make the first save of the game.

Again, there was a 10-minute lull before a couple of chances in quick succession; Sarah Wilson firing wide for Durham, while Ellie Mason couldn’t get her effort on target from a tight angle.

The match was coming to life and the next chance saw the Wildcats take the lead. After winning the ball back in the attacking third, Corrie then beat Burgess with a stunning strike from distance.

Not long afterwards, the lead was doubled. Atkinson cleverly made herself some space and then picked out the top corner to give her side a two-goal advantage.

Both teams created openings before the break. Nicki Gears hit the bar for the hosts, while Anneka Nuttall twice saw shots go narrowly wide for the Golden Girls.

Burgess had to be on the top of her game early on in the second half, denying both Atkinson and Gears with decent saves.

Her best came just before the hour when Durham were awarded a penalty for a high foot. The keeper dived to her left to keep out Hepple’s penalty before recovering to grab the rebound.

The momentum looked like it might swing. Donnelly then went close for Watford, her strike was heading to the upper part of the net but Moorhouse did well to tip over.

However in the 66th minute, the hope was dashed. Corrie showed a lovely bit of skill to keep possession and then managed to beat Burgess from the edge of the area.

It was proving to be a difficult afternoon, although a moment of individual brilliance nearly brightened it up. Gould fantastically turned away from her defender but the resulting shot went narrowly over the bar.

During her time at Watford, Adamson had a reputation for being able to make an instant impact when appearing off the bench. It happened again on Sunday, unfortunately this time, it was for the opposition.

Just two minutes after coming on, a near post cross was diverted home by the forward to make it 4-0.

Despite the scoreline, Watford kept battling away. Moorhouse was forced to make four saves in the closing stages, with Mason and Nuttall both testing her twice.

It was a tough day at the office for the Lady Hornets and there could be no complaints about the final outcome.

Watford: S Burgess, Pepper, Robe, Gillard, Tullett, Green, Donnelly, Nuttall, Farrow (Wynne 72), Gould, Mason (Heaslip 80). Subs not used: Zekai, M Burgess, Read

Attendance: 382.