[C]umberland hosted its most high-profile women’s football fixture to date on Sunday 12 August, as Liverpool Women beat Durham Women 3-0 in a pre-season friendly at Frenchfield Park in front of almost 400 spectators.
After building a good relationship with Durham Women Football Club over the last season, Cumberland FA was delighted to be working with the FA Women’s Championship side in hosting a pre-season friendly in the county.
Large crowds started to embark upon Penrith AFC’s home ground ahead of the 1pm kick-off on Sunday, with many fans taking the opportunity to see the players up close and personal as they stepped off the team coach.
On the pitch, spectators were treated to a competitive friendly between two good sides, with Liverpool sealing the win through goals from Christie Murray, Jess Clarke and Laura Coombs, despite Durham’s latest signing, Hannah Reid, impressing between the sticks.
Meanwhile, Whitehaven AFC Lionesses and Penrith Angels – two Cumberland FA competition winners – were handed the opportunity of leading the two sides out onto the pitch and taking part in a half-time penalty shoot-out against Durham goalkeeper, Megan Borthwick. Penrith’s Charlotte Peart scored the pick of the bunch.
Jess Nelson, Cumberland FA Football Development Officer, said: “This was all about inspiring the next generation of Cumberland footballers and I think we did just that. We’re over the moon with the response we’ve had from the game, and certainly hope that we can continue these strong relationships into the future to see even more high-profile games played in the county.”
Durham’s Beth Hepple added: “We regularly get Cumberland fans in numbers to New Ferens Park in Durham and really appreciate that support; I think it’s a great idea coming over here, coming to their home town to see us play on their doorstep.”
Cumberland FA would like to thank Penrith AFC for being such fantastic hosts, and thank both Liverpool and Durham Women for making the journey to Cumberland to play out such an enjoyable game. A special mention also goes to Cumberland referees, John Mulligan, Tony Whitfield and Mark James, for their contributions to the event.
Next Sunday, both sides play their first games of the 2018/19 campaign in the Women’s Super League Continental Cup. Liverpool take on Manchester United at home at 2pm, whilst Durham face Reading FC away at Wycombe Wanderers at 1pm.