DURHAM general manager Lee Sanders believes yesterday’s 7-1 Continental Cup defeat to reigning WSL 1 champions Liverpool will be a great learning curve for his squad.
Braces from Natasha Dowie, Gemma Davison, Katie Zelem and a goal from Gemma Bonner secured three points for Matt Beard’s side at New Ferens Park.
Caroline Dixon added an 88th minute consolation for Durham, but Sanders hopes his side can take plenty from playing against a team full of international players.
“I think we did really well in the first half,” Sanders said. “We frustrated Liverpool, but it was a little mistake from ourselves that resulted in their goal.
“I thought we acquitted ourselves very well. We were very disciplined and played well as a team and did very well to go in one down at half time.
“The second half is a little bit disappointing when you get that score line, but we’ve come up against opposition that train full time and that told in the last 30 minutes.
“It was pleasing to get the goal and I think being realistic today was all about the girls getting experience playing against some top players and England internationals and it will be a good learning curve for all the girls.”
Liverpool took a 16th minute lead when Dowie pounced to slot the ball in off the far post after Durham had failed to clear a corner.
On the stroke of half time, the Reds were gifted the opportunity to go two up when Dixon fouled Davison inside the area, but Dowie smashed her spot kick off the post.
A second goal did come for the Reds four minutes after the restart when captain Bonner rose highest to head in a corner.
Dowie added her second and Liverpool’s third in the 57th minute after a neat one-two involving Zelem and Corina Schroder saw the latter set up the England international to fire home from ten yards out.
Zelem made it four in the 66th minute when she headed in Lucy Bronze’s cross unmarked, before the midfielder added her second of the game four minutes later, heading in from a Bronze cross after Hill had tipped her initial effort onto the bar.
Davison scored a sixth for Liverpool in the 83rd minute from long range before the striker added her second and the visitors’ seventh two minutes later.
Dixon scored a consolation for Durham from the spot with two minutes left after Liverpool keeper Libby Stout brought down Jess Round.
Durham sit bottom of Group Two with one game remaining against Manchester City next Sunday.
Durham (4-5-1): Hill; King, Dixon, Wilson, Christon; Atkinson (Round, 46), Jennings, Bradley (Young, 46), Scott, Hanratty (Jordinson, 74); Hepple.
Subs not used: Stonehouse, Linsley.
Liverpool (3-5-2): Stout; Frausing-Pedersen, Bonner, Schroder; Bronze, Da Costa, Williams, Zelem (Dale, 80), Harris (Stewart, 46); Dowie (Longhurst, 75), Davison.
Subs not used: Gibbons, Hodson, Walker.