A hat-trick from Francesca Kirby and a strike from Lois Roche condemned Durham to another defeat in their penultimate fixture before the mid-season break at the hands of Jayne Ludlows Reading.
It was Roche who opened the scoring in the 27th minute when she made the most of poor defending to slot the ball into the back of the net. Their lead was doubled just minutes before half-time when Francesca Kirby got her ninth goal of the season before completing her brace in the second half.
Kirby’s hat-trick was completed late in the second half to seal all three points for the home side.
The opening exchanges of the match saw Reading create a number of chances, particularly through the in-form Kirby but her efforts always ended going wide or over the bar.
Durham’s first sight of goal came in the 22nd minute when after Zoe Ness had been fouled, Beth Hepple’s well-struck freekick had to be turned over the bar by Nicky Davies in the Reading goal.
Five minutes later it was the home side who took the lead and Roche who was unmarked at the edge of the box guided the ball past Katie Luther.
On the half-hour mark the Wildcats had a fantastic opportunity when Ness played the ball forward to Rosie Young. The forward used her pace to get a shot away that was palmed away by Davies before tickling across the face of the goal.
But it was in the 43rd minute when Reading got their second through Kirby who turned and resulting shot flew into the back of the net.
Half-time and Reading had a two-goal lead.
Reading continued how they finished the first-half with Kirby notching her second of the game latching on to a long ball forward before placing the ball into the back of the net.
Yasmine Hardy provided Durham with their best chance of the second-half when she produced an effort that had to be turned away by the Reading defence.
Durham looked to have got themselves on the score sheet when Hepple and Young combined to send the ball forward for Stacy Crooks to head the ball into the back of the net, only to be flagged offside.
Minutes later Crooks had another effort on goal just seconds later when she beat the offside trap to find herself through on goal but was denied by a save from Davies.
Despite having a succession of chances Durham found themselves four goals down when Kirby completed her hat-trick in the 81st after finding space unmarked to calmly score.
There was still time for late drama when Reading where awarded a penalty. Lauren Bruton stepped up to take it but was denied by Luther and that was the end of the action as Durham fell to another defeat.