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Durham Preview: ‘It’s a place that requires a ruthless and disciplined mentality’

Durham FC .vs. London City Lionesses (Barclays Women’s Championship)

Maiden Castle on Sunday 26 March at 12:00, with highlights available on the FA Player

Hayley Nolan, London City Lionesses (Image: Wing Chong)
Hayley Nolan, London City Lionesses (Image: Wing Chong)

London City Lionesses kept their promotion hopes alive with a dominant win over title rivals Bristol City last weekend and return to the field with a “renewed sense of confidence” ahead of their trip to Durham.

“There are always good vibes within the team after a win, but especially that one,” explained Kyra Carusa. “I feel like it’s just building on the good feelings we’ve had for the past few weeks now, reflecting on our efforts in training and preparation for gamedays.”

On Sunday [26 March], London City’s boosted confidence will be put to the test by a determined squad at Maiden Castle. While the Wildcats have recorded mixed results lately, their 1-0 win over Southampton last time out underscores their defensive and offensive capabilities.

“It’s always been a place that requires a different mentality in terms of being ruthless and disciplined at the same time,” said interim head coach Nikita Runnacles.

“Durham are physical, gritty, and are able to hurt you on the counter very quickly, so we have to be prepared for the challenge in addition to playing the way we want to play. [Maiden Castle] is a very open stadium, which can make games there even more difficult depending on the weather.

“We’re excited to have an overnight trip again and have that time together as a team, which is a big positive and a real influence on our group. We’re ready and can’t wait to get up to Durham for the weekend.”

The Lionesses enter the weekend just three points behind Bristol City at the top of the Barclays Women’s Championship with five fixtures remaining. It is therefore crucial for London City to find a route to victory in the North East.

Handily, the Princes Park Club boasts a handful of in-form players.

Atlanta Primus is one to watch after her two-goal performance versus the Robins, while full-back Lois Joel offers an alternative threat from the wide areas.

Form Guide:

London City Lionesses | Record: 11-3-3 | Position: 2nd

  • London City 2-0 Bristol City

  • London City 3-1 Lewes F.C.

  • London City 1-2 Sheffield United

  • Birmingham City 0-1 London City

  • Bristol City 3-1 London City

Durham | 6-3-7 | Position: 7th

  • Southampton 0-1 Durham

  • Bristol City 3-0 Durham

  • Durham 5-1 Coventry United

  • Manchester United 5-0 Durham (Vitality Women’s FA Cup)

  • Crystal Palace 1-0 Durham

Statistical Leaders:

London City Lionesses

  • Goals: Sarah Ewens (ten)

  • Assists: Shanade Hopcroft (eight)


  • Goals: Rio Hardy (six)

  • Assists: Beth Hepple (three)

London City Injuries/Suspensions:

  • Carly Girasoli (lower-body)

  • Charlotte Fleming (lower-body)

  • Lily Agg (three-match suspension)


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