While the Reds enjoyed the majority of the ball, the game took a while to get going. A reasonably uneventful first half saw the hosts struggle to get out of third gear with constant deliberate slowing of play until Boe Risas free kick got things going for the Reds. Her set piece delivery soared into Naoisha Mcaloons top corner minutes before the break.
Galton then doubled the hosts lead when she chased a loose ball, capitalising in the 53rd minute, Blundell patiently lingered towards the edge of the attacking box where she hit the ball on the half volley rolling it under the goalkeeper and into the back of the net past the hour mark. Substitution Alessia Russo nodded the ball home from close range, just five minutes after coming on. A fumble in the box lead to Parris getting herself on the scoresheet in the 88th minute.
Durham turned up to the Leigh Sports Village ready to challenge the top-tier side and clearly unwilling to be bullied off the ball in a physical battle. Lily Crosthwaite and Dee Bradley put Uniteds back line under pressure and chased the ball right back to Mary Earps to no avail. Saoirse Noonan hit the upright in the dying minutes of the game almost getting a consolation goal.
Mary Earps – Incredibly vocal, she bought the play back to her feet and slowed the game down then Durhams press was strong. Her distribution was on point even when under pressure across the box. Clean easy save of a fireball shot from close range. 8
Ona Batlle – Covered for Blundel out of possession, Spanish link up on the right flask between her and Garcia couldve been optimised more. But Batlle delivered balls in danger zones. 7
Hannah Blundell – Early on she was sloppy and gave away possession in a dangerous area that gave Durham a chance to break.When 1-v-1 and under threat near her own goal line she linked up with Turner and dribbled the ball up the pitch to the half way line. Scored the third goal for United. 8
Vilde Boe Risa – Delivered some insanely well-timed long, through balls to Thomas. High work rate in the middle. An incredible goal, a screamer of a free kick. 8
Martha Thomas – Grafted in the box, picking up loose balls and almost playing in Boe Risa for a chance on target. Her high press helped United retrieve possession after attacks fizzled out. Happy to come deep and collect the ball or involve others in the build-up. 7
Katie Zelem – Dancing around players in the middle with quick feet, and fantastic set-piece deliveries one of which assisted the fourth goal of the game. 7
Leah Galton – Caught offside a few times but had the joy on the left flank working hard in and around the box but struggled in the physical battle. Doubled Uniteds lead after the break. 7
Hayley Ladd – Was always available and the anchor in the midfield. Won her ariel battles and when in possession she opened up the play with pace. 7
Maya Le Tissier – Looks wise above her years when on the ball with complete poise and confidence. 7
Lucia Garcia – Linked up well on the right but often overran the dribble, but had spells of dribbling through players successfully to create opportunities for Ladd and Boe Risa in the middle. 6
Millie Turner – Her 100th appearance for the club, solid performance at the back, a nice link-up triangle with Le Tissier and Earps. Got booed by fans every time she was in possession for a last-ditch challenge. 7