Leicester City Women Football Club

Durham 5 – LCWFC 2 – Report

Leicester City Women were dumped out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup by Durham Women on Sunday afternoon.

Zoe Ness opened the scoring early on at New Ferens Park before Ellie Christon doubled their advantage. Three goals in seven minutes made it 3-2 at the break but strikes from Abigail Cottam and Emily Roberts saw Durham advance to the quarter-finals for the first time.

The Foxes were playing in the fifth round for the second time in their history and were facing a Women’s Super League side for the the first time since losing 5-1 to Sheffield FC in 2015. Eight places separated the two sides and the hosts opened the scoring after 12 minutes.

The Wild Cats’ early persistence and aggression off the ball proved dividends when Abigail Cottam’s cross somehow found its way to an unmarked Zoe Ness, who calmly slotted her side in front.

City were dealt another blow after a quarter of an hour as they found themselves 2-0 behind courtesy of an Ellie Christon strike. Cottam was again the provider showing great awareness to flick to ball to the onrushing Christon, who sealed her driving run with her first goal of the season.

A serious looking injury to Leicester’s Shauna Cossens followed shortly after and, after a long break in play, Durham almost extended their lead to three but neither Emily Roberts or Annabel Johnson could convert from close range.

Somewhat against the run of play, the away side reduced the deficit after 40 minutes. A low cross from Axten was expertly laid off to Leigh Dugmore on the periphery of the penalty area and the midfielder powerfully drove the ball into the bottom corner.

Two quickfire goals at the end of the first-half saw the sides go into the break with just one goal between them. Durham had originally resorted their two goal advantage with a superb Cottam volley but a composed Sophie Domingo finish kept the Foxes in the game.

Jonathan Morgan’s side started the second half confidently and arguably enjoyed their best spell of the game after the restart. Despite forcing the Durham keeper into two fantastic saves and seeing a goal disallowed, any hope of a revival was soon quashed, as Durham again reminded the 227 in attendance of their WSL status as Cottam dinked the ball over the goalkeeper.

Zoe Ness proved tricky for Leicester throughout the tie and did well on the right wing to get a cross in towards Emily Roberts, who side-footed the ball into the back of the net to make it 5-2.

City will now turn their attention to a WPL League Cup tie with rivals Nottingham Forest Ladies next Sunday and will be inspired by a valiant FA Cup performance in County Durham.