Durham 0 Manchester City 3
DURHAM defender Sarah Wilson believes her side can take plenty from their FA Continental Cup campaign, despite losing their final game to WSL 1’s Manchester City.
The Wildcats finished bottom of Group Two after goals from Krystle Johnston, Toni Duggan and Jill Scott secured City’s place in the semi-finals, who finished ahead of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Durham also sit bottom of WSL 2 in their first season since forming, but Wilson believes the experience of playing against the likes of Liverpool and Man City, who fielded England internationals Steph Houghton, Scott and Duggan at New Ferens Park, will stand the Wildcats in good stead when their league programme resumes next week.
“I think the performance is something we can be proud of, especially coming up against a WSL 1 team. We did really well and frustrated them,” Wilson said.
“We took a lot from the Liverpool defeat and I think we had a lot of positives to take from that game into Manchester City. Even though we’ve lost it proves that if you work for each other for 90 minutes you can frustrate teams.
“Some of the girls we played against we’ve grown up watching and it’s an unbelievable experience to play against them and we can take plenty from our performances.
“We’ve now got to take what we’ve learned from these games into the league and try and get as many points on the board as possible and try to move up the table to where we deserve to be.”
Durham keeper Danielle Hill was called into action in the early stages when she made two superb saves to deny Natasha Flint and Johnston.
Duggan, who made her first start since returning from six weeks on the sidelines through injury, then went close to opening the scoring when Scott found the striker with a neat through-ball, but again Hill matched her efforts with a fine save.
City finally broke Hill’s resolve with 28 minutes gone when Johnston fired in unmarked at the back post from Flint’s cross.
It could have been two straight after when Scott sent Duggan clear, but the striker’s effort crashed off the post before Durham cleared.
The England international did make it two in the 38th minute, firing past Hill after Flint had squared inside the area.
City had chances to increase their lead after the break with chances for Isobel Christiansen and Betsy Hassett, but it wasn’t until the 84th minute that Nick Cushing’s side got their third when Scott headed in substitute Georgie Brougham’s right-sided cross.
Wilson had a chance to pull one back for the hosts with a minute remaining, but her effort sailed over the bar.