Match Report | York City Ladies 1-3 Durham Cestria

The Minsterbelles were defeated in their final home game of the 2022/23 season against table toppers Durham Cestria.

First half goals from Leanna Giles, Jen Knowles from the spot and a second half strike from Poppy Pritchard earned the visitors all three points before a late consolation goal from Jess Holder for City.

Jodie Attard returned to the starting line up having featured only once this season in the defeat against Stockport County last month.

The Malta international was called into action for the first time of the afternoon in the twelfth minute. The keeper denied Pritchard’s shot gathering at the second attempt.

York had their first half chance in the 18th minute, Jess Holder delivered a cross which ended in the arms of the Durham goalkeeper.

Two minutes later Attard again came to City’s aid, a smart save denied Hannah Greenwood’s powerful shot from outside the box.

After having the majority of play the visitors broke the deadlock in the 27th minute, Giles poked an effort into the corner from the edge of the box after Durham launched a quick attack.

On the half hour mark it was almost two but for another big save from Attard denying Giles a second from close range, the York number one reacted impressively getting down to her right to save.

Attard who’d had a relatively busy half was called upon again in the 38th minute, Pritchard again the one to try her luck, Attard was equal to the strike pushing wide of the upright.

With less than five minutes to play before the break Milly Ash stood over a free kick, her delivery suffered the same fate as Holder’s earlier cross ending in the arms of the keeper.

Pritchard’s endeavour won Durham a penalty in the 43rd minutes, despite question marks over the decision the referee was in no doubt pointing to the spot, Cestria captain Knowles stood over the ball and from twelve-yards made no mistake sending Attard the wrong way.

The final action of the first half went City’s way, Elisha Hardcastle picked up a loose ball 25-yards out but the midfielder couldn’t keep her strike down as she shot off target.

Erin Nicholson almost extended the visitors lead early in the second half, from the left wing the Durham player hit the inside of the upright before York cleared.

Just before the hour mark York turned to the bench to introduce Rosie Bell to the action replacing Holly Findlay as City looked to build some momentum.

Durham however, scored their third of the afternoon in the 63rd minute, Pritchard cut inside from the right following a quick throw-in, the forward fired beyond Attard with her left foot on the edge of the box.

Another two Development Team players were introduced in the 70th minute and 82nd minute respectively, Olivia Sellars replaced Elisha Hardcastle before Eve Harriott came on in place of Jess Heald.

In the 90th minute Holder scored a consolation goal for York, a good run from the City player opened up space, Holder looked up and drove a strike which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar, her fifth in all competitions this season.

In stoppage time at the end of the second half a fourth Development Team player entered the fray for the Minsterbelles, Anna Bowman replaced the captain Nikki Brown.

City didn’t manage to create another opening after pulling a goal back late on, Durham saw the game out through the five additional minutes.

City now have back-to-back away games to finish the season starting with a trip to West Yorkshire to face Bradford City at the Horsfall Stadium, kick off next Sunday is 2pm.

Minsterbelles: Attard, Heald (Harriott), Smith, Cattle, Holder, Hughes, Hardcastle (Sellars), Findlay (Bell), Brown (Bowman), Jones, Ash.

Subs not used: Singleton.