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Wilson notches winner in 3-2 victory over Durham

By Football Reporter

Crystal Palace made it four league wins in a row and seven unbeaten with an entertaining 3-2 victory in the FA Women’s Championship over Durham at Maiden Castle. Siobhan Wilson scored the winner for Dean Davenport’s side after a close-range finish from Kathryn Hill had ensured the Wildcats were level at the half-time interval. Lee Sanders’ side had taken the lead early through Beth Hepple, before efforts from Molly Sharpe and Lizzie Waldie put the Eagles ahead. Durham had started brightly, taking the lead inside 10 minutes when Hepple fired home from close range, after an initial effort from Abby Holmes was blocked. Palace goalkeeper Emily Orman twice stopped Hepple doubling her tally, saving from a free-kick and an effort following a loose defensive pass. Durham were then made to pay for the misses when former Wildcat Sharpe’s left-footed strike from outside the area went into the corner of the goal. Palace then took the lead just after the half-hour mark after Waldie headed home at the back post from a corner by Coral Haines. The Wildcats equalised from a corner of their own, with Hill sliding in to knock home the loose ball. Shortly after the break Palace regained their lead after a tantalising low ball by Leanne Cowan evaded the defenders and was finished by Wilson. Both teams continued to threaten, with Farrow heading narrowly wide for the Eagles and Lauren Briggs and Hepple both having efforts saved by Orman. However, the Palace defence held strong and closed out the game, with the three points helping them overtake Durham in the FA Women’s Championship table. To follow the action and sign up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com Crystal Palace forward Molly Sharpe said: “This is always a really hard place to come, I've played here last couple of years, so we knew it would be a tough fight and we stuck together as a team. “We’re absolutely buzzing to get the result, and to get a goal it's lovely. We didn't really expect it to be that much of a high scoring game to be honest, obviously you always want a clean sheet. “But when they scored early it really kicked us in to gear and we came in and said girls we've got to be better. It had an impact on us but it just made us more fiery. “That's something we always say in the changing room, unbeaten, unbeaten, keep the run going, and we take pride in it, we take a lot of pride in the fact that we don't get beat a lot and it shows with where we are in the table, so I think it's brilliant personally." Durham forward Beth Hepple said: “We had a good start and an early goal, we always knew it was going to be very difficult game, obviously we got beat by Palace away from home earlier in the season. "We're really, really disappointed we haven't capitalised on chances, personally I had chances I should have took in the first half, but that's football. I thought Crystal Palace were ruthless, I felt like we had better chances in the game. “At the end of the day that defeat's down to us, nothing else, not being clinical enough, maybe lacking a bit of energy in the second half, we know we can be 10 times better than what we showed today, but that's football. "It's the first game of 2022, it's always nice to be home and having our fans around us, it really does make a difference. We just have to group together, stick together, and we have to push on again next week." Durham (4-3-3): Megan Borthwick; Kathryn Hill, Sarah Robson, Becky Salicki, Abby Holmes; Mollie Lambert, Beth Hepple, Dee Bradley; Danielle Brown, Bridget Galloway, Lauren Briggs. Substitutes: Liz Ejupi for Galloway 46', Rio Hardy for Brown 69’, Ellie Christon for Holmes 87’ Substitutes not used: Naoisha McAloon, Sarah Wilson, Rio Hardy, Emily Roberts, Hannah Greenwood Goals: Hepple 8’, Hill 35’ Bookings: Holmes 53’ Crystal Palace (3-5-2): Emily Orman; Annabel Johnson, Gracie Pearse, Lizzie Waldie; Leanne Cowan, Siobhan Wilson, Aimee Everett, Sophie McLean, Coral Haines; Millie Farrow, Molly Sharpe Substitutes: Kirsty Barton for McLean 46’, Hannah Churchill for Everett 46’, Bianca Baptiste for Farrow 67’, Charley Clifford for Sharpe 90’ Substitutes not used: Hope Smith, Leigh Nicol, Grace Coombs. Goals: Sharpe 14’, Waldie 31’, Wilson 51’ Referee: Matthew Diciccio Attendance: 435