Bees stung by rampant Wildcats

Durham produced a dominant performance in all areas to see off London Bees 4-0 at The Hive.

Beth Hepple struck twice inside the opening 16 minutes as the Wildcats made the most of the early running. 

Amelia Pereira added another eye-catching goal to her collection after the break before Jess Havelock struck on her first start following her move from Newcastle United.

The thumping victory lifts the Wildcats into the top half of the table ahead of both Everton and Yeovil Town, who played their respective games on Saturday.

Durham fired early warning signs straight from the off, with Pereira and Jordan Atkinson carving out chances after forcing defensive errors, though it didn’t take long for the pressure to count.

Jen Jennings thundered forward on the right and crossed for Atkinson, who laid the ball off straight into Hepple’s path and she tucked into the bottom corner from 20 yards. 

Hepple doubled up only two minutes later as Julie Nelson’s shot was saved into the path of the midfielder, who took full advantage of acres of space to slot high into the net. 

It was almost three soon after as Pereira’s close range shot was well saved at the near post by Sophie Harris.

The hosts were restricted to long-range efforts through Rebecca Anderson and Louise Fellows, with Durham’s back four proving a tough nut to crack. 

Pereira, rotated across the front three by manager Lee Sanders, came agonisingly close to making it three before the break.

The Portuguese wing wizard beat three challenges but dragged her shot wide shortly before rattling the bar with a thunderous half volley from 20 yards.

Her inevitable goal came five minutes after half time. Cutting in on the right hand side, she unleashed a thunderous right foot shot and left Harris with no chance as the ball sailed into the top corner.

Another strike stung Harris’ palms but the hosts finally grew into the game, with skipper Sarah Wilson heroically denying substitute Ashleigh Goddard as she prepared to shoot on two occasions.

An excellent victory was sealed after 77 minutes. Harris made another excellent stop to deny Hepple a hat-trick but from the resultant corner, Havelock looped her shot over the defender on the line to open her Wildcats account. 

London Bees: Sophie Harris, Billie Brooks (Lucy Loomes 71), Jade Dempster, Aoife Hurley, Paula Howells, Louise Fellows, Rebecca Anderson, Andria Georgiou (Ashleigh Goddard 45), Gemma Fraser, Cheryl Williams, Leigh Nicol (Amber Gaylor 45)

Subs not used: Imogen Riches, Jemma Connor-Imomi, Katherine Huggins, Selin Buyukgiray

Durham Women FC: Helen Alderson, Jen Jennings, Sarah Wilson, Julie Nelson, Jess Havelock, Beth Hepple, Lauren Jordinson (Emily Scott 75), Ellie Christon (Victoria Linsley 82), Jemma Purfield, Amelia Pereira, Jordan Atkinson (Becky Beech 71)

Subs not used: Anna Moorhouse

Bookings: Amelia Pereira (53)

Attendance: 221

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