Drama in Durham – but Lewes are beaten

Lewes Women - defeated 2-1 away to DurhamLewes Women - defeated 2-1 away to Durham
Lewes Women - defeated 2-1 away to Durham
A late Sarah Robson strike and a tale of two penalties in the second half saw Durham secure a dramatic 2-1 win over Lewes in the Barclays Women’s Championship.

Beth Hepple’s spot kick cancelled out Emily Kraft’s opener at Maiden Castle, before Robson struck as the East Sussex side lost for the first time in five league games this season.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges – Rio Hardy had a great chance on 12 minutes when she met a right-wing cross, but her header sailed over from close range.

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Saoirse Noonan saw a volley blocked, and Georgia Robert floated a cross narrowly wide of the far post as Durham continued to dominate the visitors.

Midfielder Maria Farrugia had a long-range effort saved on 28 minutes, before Lewes finally registered an attempt seven minutes later when Ellie Hack’s header landed wide.

The visitors found a way through on 54 minutes via the penalty spot – Kraft finding the top corner after a debatable award by the referee.

The crowd became even more agitated soon after when the home side had handball appeals waved away following a scramble in the Lewes box.

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But Durham supporters were celebrating in the 72nd minute when Rio Hardy went down in the box, midfielder Hepple converted the resulting spot kick.

And defender Robson completed the turnaround to break Lewes hearts in the sixth minute of stoppage time when she converted a cutback.

The hosts remain unbeaten at home this season, while Lewes await their first league success.

To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League and Championship coverage visit https://faplayer.thefa.com/home/all

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Durham goalscorer Sarah Robson: “The first half was probably the best we've played this season. We created a lot of chances but just nothing clear cut and Lewes defended really, really well.

“We thought going in the second half that this season, we're playing one good half and maybe even poor the 2nd. But today we will fetch a good half together and in the end I think we were the deserved winners.

“When you're on top of the game so much and they score against the run of play, you're always thinking, is this gonna fall again?

“I'm just really happy that Mollie [Lambert] squared it perfectly. And I was like just keep it on target and it went in - I'm happy about that!”

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Lewes captain Rhian Cleverly: “If I'm honest I don't think it was our best performance today. We defended well at times, we had moments where we did well, but yeah, I don't think we did enough for the three points. I think the draw would probably have been a fair result.

“I didn't have a good angle for ours, but I thought it was quite soft and theirs was definitely not a penalty. So yeah, questionable refereeing today, but that happens quite a lot.

“Now we just take it one game at a time. We know how good we are. I think last week in the Conti Cup we showed that, it's just trying to do it in the league.

“But we've had a really tough week. No excuses, but yeah, we'll bounce back, I'm sure. We've got a good spirit in the team.”

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