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Report: Durham 3-0 London City

London City Lionesses fell to a painful 3-0 defeat to Durham on Sunday [26 March], losing valuable ground in the fight for promotion from the Barclays Women's Championship.



While London City started the brighter of the two sides, it was Durham who took the lead from the penalty spot through Rio Hardy on the 20-minute mark.


The Wildcats doubled their advantage eight minutes later, with captain Beth Hepple curling the ball beyond the reach of Shae Yanez from the edge of the penalty area.


London City sank further behind on the stroke of half-time, conceding to Sarah Robson after a floated free-kick delivery.


The Lionesses held firm in the second-half but were unable to find a route back into the match on an afternoon to forget in the North East.


“It was a really disappointing, hurtful first-half,” explained interim head coach Nikita Runnacles, “the players and staff know it. That wasn’t a performance for a London City shirt and that’s ultimately what cost us the game because it becomes an uphill battle when you go three goals behind against a team that is gritty, smart, and looks to slow the pace of the game down.”


But there were some positives to take from the second period.


“In the second-half we created more chances and changed the formation to push more players into attacking areas but it became a really difficult job,” added Runnacles.


Carly Girasoli’s return from injury is another positive for the Lionesses as they enter the final stretch of the season.


“It’s great to have Carly back on the pitch,” said Runnacles of her half-time substitute. “She’s been working really hard on her rehab programme and I’m delighted to see her back in action.”


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