Manchester City Women returned to winning ways on Thursday evening as they beat Durham 3-0 at the Academy Stadium, but they left it late to seal the victory. A first half goal by Filippa Angeldahl was added to by Caroline Weir and Janine Beckie in the final minutes as City remained top of group B.
After losing last week’s FA Cup semi-final to Chelsea, City were looking to get back to winning ways ahead of their WSL clash at Leicester on Sunday. Manager Gareth Taylor played Ruby Mace and Alanna Kennedy at the back and was boosted by the return to fitness of Hayley Raso and Vicky Losada, while Weir, who was waiting to make her 100th appearance in blue, started on the bench.
The blues dominated possession but couldn’t find a way past the Durham defence until the 16th minute. Beckie got away down the right and cut the ball back to Angeldahl on the edge of the penalty area. The Swede took a touch, before rifling home the opening goal.
City continued to press and Beckie had an effort cleared off the line and later hit the woodwork as City looked to run away with the tie. Kennedy flicked on a corner and Beckie stuck out a foot to divert it towards goal and was unlucky to see it cleared. And just before half-time, the Canadian saw her curling effort beat the keeper but not the bar as it cannoned off the woodwork and away to safety.
Beckie was involved in almost every City move of note, and was denied an opportunity in the second half, before setting up Angeldahl, who blazed over the bar. The Swede was unmarked inside the penalty area but snatched her shot and the chance went begging.
Angeldahl could have had a treble as she hit the post with a thunderous shot as the blues looked to kill the game off. Weir entered the play with 20 minutes remaining, and it took her less than 2 minutes to find the goal.
Laura Coombs won the ball on the edge of the area and played in Weir, who hit a left foot shot that bounced off the underside of the bar and into the back of the goal.
And any chance of a Durham comeback were finally put to rest three minutes slater as Beckie got the goal her performance warranted. A cross from the right eluded the defence and fell kindly to Beckie, who took a touch before hammering home.
A decent result against the Championship side and this should put the blues in good stead for the trip to bottom club Leicester, a game that Taylor’s side must win.
Final Score: Manchester City Women 3-0 Durham Women.