Four different goalscorers proved decisive as the Wildcats win the second league game on the spin
Durham Women continued their fine form of recent weeks with a 4-1 win over London Bees.
The Wildcats took a 3-1 lead into half-time before Beth Hepple made sure of the victory late on in the second half.
Natalie Gutteridge opened the scoring, and her account for the club, with a half volley following a bit of pinball in the box, but the Bees quickly levelled thanks to Ashleigh Goddard’s fifth goal in five games.
A first goal of the season for Jordan Atkinson, rebounding in from a Courtney Corrie strike, got Durham back in front, before Corrie herself got in on the act, unleashing a ferocious drive into the top corner.
The Bees struggled to get into the game in the second half and were fortunate to only concede one further goal, as Gutteridge rattled the crossbar from 25 yards out before Hepple turned her marker and fired low passed Imogen Riches at her near post.
It so nearly could have been five, but Jess White was deemed to have been offside seconds after wheeling away in celebration and that is the way it stayed.
Goalscorer Hepple was delighted with the way the team knuckled down moments after conceding the equaliser.
She said: “We had a good start, we got the early goal through Natalie [Gutteridge], and had some good passages of play.
“They levelled it back up and it kind of rocked us a little bit at the back, but we got straight back at them. with a good goal by Courtney [Corrie], a neat finish and that got us back into the game, boosted our confidence.
“We got another goal to make it 3-1 before half-time and Lee [Sanders] just said get back out there and win the second half, it’s a level playing field as we knew London Bees needed the three points as much as we did, so it was absolutely vital for us to win.”
Hepple scored the fourth goal in the victory, adding: “I took the corner, so I wasn’t expecting it coming back at me, but Guttsy played me in again and I drilled it in the bottom corner.”
The Wildcats brought in some much-needed strength in numbers during the mid-season break and the midfielder points to their performances as a reason behind their fine form.
She said: “Nat [Gutteridge] and Nicki [Gears], Chloe [Macek] as well, she’s only 17 and has been playing brilliantly in midfield. As you can see from our results, they have massively improved the squad and have brought something different to our team.”
Up next is an away fixture at Manchester City Women on Wednesday in the Continental Cup. Kick off is 7pm.
Durham Women: Helen Alderson; Jen Jennings, Sarah Wilson (c), Julie Nelson, Jess Havelock; Nicki Gears, Lauren Jordinson (Chloe Macek 58), Beth Hepple, Natalie Gutteridge (Victoria Linsley 86), Jordan Atkinson; Courtney Corrie (Jess White 82).
London Bees: Imogen Riches; Kara-May Howes, Jade Dempster (c), Aoife Hurley, Katherine Huggins; Paige Wakefield (Billie Brooks 67), Rebecca Anderson (Andria Georgiou 75), Ashleigh Goddard, Paula Howells; Emma Whitter, Amber Gaylor (Lucy Loomes 86).