Sunderland Echo - - Football -

Sun­der­land claimed two points from last night’s 0-0 draw at Durham Women in their Women’s Su­per League’s Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup group tie.

The sides failed to make the break­through in the 90 min­utes, and Sun­der­land snapped up a bonus point thanks to a 3-2 shoot-out vic­tory af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

It took un­til the 26th minute for a chance of note to ar­rive at New Ferens Park, and it fell the way of hosts Durham.

Zoe Ness, threaded a through-ball into the path of the on-run­ning Emily Roberts, who was de­nied as keeper Rachael Laws made her­self big in the Sun­der­land goal.

WSL1 side Sun­der­land were solid, if un­spec­tac­u­lar, but came close in the 31st minute when Keira Ramshaw latched on to a corner at the back post and saw her header cleared off the line by Durham’s Sarah Wil­son.

Si­mona Koren dragged a shot wide in the 58th minute when burst­ing clear in be­hind the Durham back-line.

Nei­ther side, de­spite plenty of ef­fort and en­deav­our, could find a way through.

Durham sub­sti­tute Abi­gail Cot­tam toe-ended an ef­fort wide for the hosts in the 68th minute be­fore Zaneta Wyne flashed a cross-cumshot inches past the far post with six min­utes to go.

The chance of the match, though, would fall to Cot­tam in stop­page time.

With only the keeper to beat af­ter a flick from Ness, the Durham sub­sti­tute smashed her shot straight at a sprawl­ing Laws as the op­por­tu­nity went beg­ging.

In the shoot-out, Durham’s Lau­ren Briggs missed the fi­nal spot-kick to send the vis­it­ing sup­port­ers home happy.

Sun­der­land keeper Laws added: “I wasn’t happy dur­ing the 90 min­utes and the penal­ties, I was a bit ner­vous.

“But we got the job done even­tu­ally and we are happy to get a cou­ple of points on the board through the penal­ties. It was very scrappy. When we had pos­ses­sion we looked good and we cre­ated a few chances.

“Nei­ther team could get into a rhythm.

“When we did, we looked good, but we very rarely did it and I think that was our down­fall.

“Coming back here, I know a lot of the girls and my best friend Sarah Wil­son was tak­ing one of the penal­ties. She was ac­tu­ally one of the few who scored ... I didn’t let it in hon­estly!

“I knew which way Beth Hep­ple was go­ing to go. I had a chat with her be­fore she took her penalty and I asked her if she was go­ing to change be­cause I know where she was go­ing to go.

“I don’t think she did and I nearly got it, I just had to go the way I re­mem­bered.”

Durham striker Zoe Ness said: “It is al­ways the case in a derby game that there is lit­tle be­tween the two teams.

“Both teams showed that the stan­dard up north is good – it’s pro­duc­ing good play­ers and good games.

“I’m sure ev­ery fan who came to watch was en­ter­tained. It was a re­ally com­pet­i­tive game.

“We are ob­vi­ously a bit gut­ted (to lose the shootout), but we’ve showed we are more than ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing. Los­ing on penal­ties – that’s football.

“You’re play­ing against Su­per League 1 teams so it’s a case of show­cas­ing what you can do as a team. We know the fo­cus was on our­selves.

“Sun­der­land will feel they have had a tough night and they’ll know they were in a game, so credit to our girls.

“We’re pleased with our per­for­mance. We took it to the end so we can’t re­ally com­plain.”

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