Lewes lose out to Durham after three second half goals

Second half goals from Abby Holmes, Lisa Robertson and Beth Hepple got Durham back to winning ways in the FA Women’s Championship with a victory over Lewes at a blustery New Ferens Park.

The match was a stalemate for large parts of the game until the hosts scored three times in just over 20 second half minutes to secure the win.

The first 45 minutes was a low-key affair, with both sides struggling to come to terms with the windy conditions.

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It took until the mid-point of the first half for the first attempt on target when Katie Rood's shot went straight at home keeper Megan Borthwick.

Lewes keeper Faye Baker was called into action for the first time seconds later when she made a sharp save with her right foot from a deflected effort.

The best chances fell to promotion-chasing Durham, with Lisa Robertson firing wide from a great position 10 yards out and Molly Sharpe hooked one wide in added time.

After the break, Hepple shot over from 30 yards, while Baker blocked one with her leg from Nicki Gears.

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The deadlock was finally broken just after the hour mark when Robertson’s deep corner from the right was met by Holmes, whose right-foot shot found the bottom left corner of Baker’s net.

Holmes was then instrumental in Durham’s second goal six minutes later, making a barnstorming forward run.

While the full-back lost the ball, Lewes failed to clear allowing Robertson to roll the ball in with her right boot.

Hepple sealed the deal eight minutes from time when her free-kick from the left went all the way through a mass of bodies and into the net.

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Lewes offered little going forward with Jess King going over the bar from range.

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Durham defender Abby Holmes said: "We dominated the first half, we just didn’t have the quality in the final third.

"In the second half we kept pushing and we always believed if we could get one then the floodgates would kind of open - it was, one, two and then three.

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"We could probably have had more, but three points and a clean sheet was the important thing.

"It’s nice as a defender to be able to chip in with a goal, and Kathryn Hill and Becky Salicki have all scored this season.

"I thought I might have got the second goal as well but I could not quite stretch to get it but the keeper’s save has fallen nicely into Lisa’s path and she’s put it in.

"We have two games coming up in the week, Liverpool in the cup on Wednesday and Crystal Palace away next Sunday, so we’ll rest up now and go again."

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Lewes defender Catlin Hayes said: "We had a few chances in the first half.

“We probably needed to be up by half-time, you always like to go back to the dressing room in the lead and we probably needed to take advantage of having had the wind in the first half.

"Our quality showed in the second half as we withstood their pressure and were holding our own but unfortunately a few careless mistakes that we really should have taken control of cost us.

"There was nothing really tactically wrong, it was just some silly errors.

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"The conditions were difficult and I don’t really want to complain about the artificial pitch but coming from playing on grass it’s something completely different, a different type of game. I don’t think we really adapted to it or use it the best we could.

"We’ll go again with a cup game at Tottenham in midweek and our last game before Christmas next weekend against Charlton."

Durham (4-1-4-1): Megan Borthwick; Ellie Christon, Kathryn Hill, Becky Salicki, Abby Holmes; Sarah Robson; Megan Bell. Beth Hepple, Lisa Robertson, Nicki Gears; Mollie Sharpe

Substitutes: Iris Achterhof for Shape 62, Danielle Cox for Bell 80, Holly Manders for Gears 84

Substitute not used: Julia Weithofer

Goals: Holmes 61, Robertson 67, Hepple 83

Booking: Holmes 72

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Lewes (4-1-2-3): Faye Baker; Sophie O'Rourke, Caitlin Hayes, Rhian Cleverly, Ella Powell; Ellie Noble; Charley Boswell, Danni Lane; Jess King, Chloe Winchester, Katie Rood

Substitutes: Emily Donovan for Winchester 62, Filippa Savva for Lane 73, Amy Taylor for Cleverly 81

Substitute not used: Emma Jones, Sammy Quayle

Referee: Paul Brown

Attendance: 326

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