COVENTRY UNITED LADIES were indebted to goalkeeper Lucy Thomas after the Red and Greens held Durham Women to a goalless draw to further boost their survival hopes.
Thomas made a string of fine saves to keep the game scoreless and ensure Coventry secured another vital point at Maiden Castle Sports Park.
The result means Coventry remain bottom of the FA Women’s Championship table on one point, six points behind nearest rivals Watford with five games left to play.
Durham’s lineup featured former Coventry striker Rio Hardy who remains the Red and Greens top scorer this season with five goals having made the move to her new club in January.
And Hardy almost came back to haunt her former side when she stole in between two defenders to head over the crossbar from six-yards out.
Thomas was then forced into a fine save to keep out Sarah Wilson’s long range effort as the ball headed towards the top right corner of the goal.
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The pressure continued when Thomas stood tall to deny Mollie Lambert when one-on-one before Hardy turned the loose ball into an empty net only for the referee to pull up Lambert for impeding Thomas following the save.
And the young goalkeeper impressed again soon after as she fielded two dangerous balls into the box before holding onto Beth Hepple’s stabbed effort.
Coventry came close to breaking the deadlock against the run of play in the second period when Olivia Fergusson’s lobbed effort bounced narrowly wide.
The heroics continued when Thomas made another excellent save to keep out Elizabeta Ejupi’s shot from close range before the keeper pulled off a stunning reflex save to tip Natalie Johnson’s backwards header over her own crossbar.
Durham almost made the breakthrough late on when Hardy’s shot deflected onto the post off Mollie Green before the ball was cleared to safety.
Coventry are next in action away at Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Women’s FA Cup on Friday, March 18 with kick-off at 7pm at Meadow Park.