The Wildcats grounded out an all-important three points to take them to sixth place, two points behind fourth.
Durham beat Aston Villa Ladies 1-0 away from home, making it a third consecutive league win on the spin.
The Wildcats held on for an important victory, which closed the gap on fourth place to just two points, albeit Everton Ladies, who currently occupy that position, have games in hand.
Jordan Atkinson went close twice, but was denied one-on-one with Villa goalkeeper Jess Myers on both occasions, before Durham found the breakthrough.
Mid-season break signing Nicki Gears opened up her account on the for the club on the 21st minute with a poachers finish, capitalising on a mistake by Myers and rolling the ball home into and empty net.
The goalkeeper redeemed herself with a save from Jess Havelock and that seemed to rally the home side, with Bethan Merrick and Katie Wilkinson going close.
Villa’s defender Lauren Haynes cleared the ball off the line in the second half from Amelia Pereira as Myers made a similar mistake to the one that made her concede.
The home side tried to find a breakthrough of their own as the half ticked by, with Olivia Fergusson, Abbeyleigh Stringer and substitute Abi Cottam trying their luck, but the Wildcats held on for another three points.
Gears was delighted with scoring her first goal, but was just as pleased with another three points for the club.
She said: “The goal wasn’t pretty but every goal counts.
“The ball was played over the Villa defence as I was making a run in behind.
“The goalkeeper was quick off her line and tried to make a save but she missed the ball and as I turned around the ball sat up nicely for me to just tap in the back of the net.
“I couldn’t really believe my luck.
“The three points this weekend has really lifted everyone.
“We’ll take each game as it comes and continue to improve.
“Obviously, we want to be as high up in the table as possible by the end of the season.
“Everton are a few points ahead of us, with a few games in hand, but it’s good to know we can still take points off them.”
Although Durham didn’t play their best football, Gears was impressed with how they grounded out the points.
She added: “We started the game strong and were the better team for the first 25 minutes.
“We pressurised really well as a unit which consequently led to the goal.
“I think the fact we came out so strong at the beginning had a huge impact on the game as we caught Villa on the back foot.
“After we went 1-0 up we grafted as a team to keep the result and continue to push for the important three points.
“The fact we didn’t play our best football and we still managed to grind out a result is really positive for us.”