Thursday 19 May 2016

Win shows how far Durham have come, says Gutteridge

The Wildcats left it late, but beat Sheffield 1-0 to move within a point of the WSL 2 table-toppers

FA WSL 2 match
19:00, Thursday 19 May 2016
New Ferens Park

Durham Women FC Goal Scorers: Gutteridge x2

Natalie Gutteridge believes her late winning goal shows just how far Durham have progressed in the last 12 months.

The Wildcats had to be patient against a stubborn Sheffield side before Gutteridge headed in the game’s only goal seven minutes from time.

Victory was Durham’s fourth in five league matches this season, leaving them just a point shy of top spot.

And, when you consider they won six Women’s Super League 2 matches throughout 2015, Gutteridge believes it goes to show their hard work is paying off.

“This was a game which maybe last season we would not have got the win, but we’ve shown how far we’ve come as a team this season,” she said.

“We kept going. As the game went on it was looking like it was going to be 0-0, but you can’t give up, you have to keep going until the end and hope you get that one chance.

“Thankfully it did come. Beth Hepple put in a great corner and we put the pressure on and we were all fighting to get to the ball and I managed to nod it in.

“It was pleasing to score but I would have been happy whoever scored tonight as long as we got the win.”

Gutteridge had the game’s first chance on seven minutes, shooting just wide after good work down the left by debutant Tyler Dodds.

Jodie Michalska shot high and wide in the 24th minute for Sheffield and just before the interval was off target with a fine effort from the edge of the area.

Durham were inches away from taking a 49th-minute lead with Beth Hepple unlucky to see a screamer come back off Jules Draycott’s crossbar.

The bar came to Durham’s aid 15 minutes from time when lively substitute Chelsea Flanagan struck the woodwork after seizing on Helen Alderson’s punch.

One goal always looked like settling it and, when Sheffield could not deal with Hepple’s high hanging corner, Gutteridge nodded in her sixth goal of the season from close range.

The drama was not over and in stoppage time, Alderson saved superbly from substitute Hannah Cain to protect the home lead.

Sheffield captain Carla Ward felt her team had done enough in the game to warrant a reward.

“It’s hard to take because we are controlling games but not finishing our chances,” she said.

“We had a lot of possession but there is only one stat that counts. What’s the point of dominating games if you can’t put the ball in the back of the net?

“It’s the same story every week and it’s down to us to do something about it.

“We can't feel sorry for ourselves we need to start putting the ball in the back of the net.

“It’s frustrating, all the games bar Bristol we’ve probably dominated play and we’re going into the last game before the break with one point.”

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Durham (4-3-3): Helen Alderson; Ellie Christon, Becky Salicki, Sarah Wilson; Chloe Macek; Sarah McFadden; Jordan Atkinson, Rachel Lee, Beth Hepple Tyler Dodds; Natalie Guttridge

Substitutes: Mercy Darkoah for Atkinson 86, Nicola Gibson for Dodds 90, Sarah Eadon for Macek 90

Substitutes not used: Megan Borthwick, Courtney Corrie, Sasha Adamson

Bookings: Sarah Wilson 21

Red Cards: None

Sheffield FC (4-2-3-1): Jules Draycott; Danielle Cox, Billie Murphy, Emma Lipman, Hope Knight; Sherry McCue, Hannah Dale; Rhema Lord-Mears, Carla Ward, Ellie Gilliat; Jodie Michalska

Substitutes: Chelsea Flanagan for Lord-Mears 52, Emma Johnson for McCue 68, Hannah Cain for Knight 75

Substitutes not used: Claire Wallhead, Fran Sullivan, Emily Owen, Chloe Dixon

Bookings: Ellie Gilliat 21, Sherrie McCue 41

Red Cards: None

Referee: Helen Conley

Attendance: 369