Durham Women progressed to the Fifth Round of the SSE FA Women’s Cup after a comfortable victory over Charlton Athletic.
Nat Gutteridge’s brace after Beth Hepple’s opener secured victory for the Wildcats, who owed a lot to a fine performance from goalkeeper Helen Alderson.
After a 9-0 victory over London Bees in the last round, confidence was high amongst the Wildcats’ camp.
But they were faced with a Charlton side who themselves registered a comprehensive win in Round Three – dismissing Newcastle United 10-0.
The hosts began brightly and had the first chance of the game when Hepple’s shot from the edge of the area went narrowly wide.
Chances continued to flow, with Rachel Lee firing over from distance twice in quick succession as Durham pressed forward.
They eventually got the goal their play deserved after 20 minutes.
Hepple’s corner was met with a thumping McFadden header which Charlton stopper Megen Lynch did well to parry.
The ball wasn’t fully cleared and eventually came out to Hepple who curled home from 18 yards.
The lead was short lived, however, as Charlton equalised only six minutes later.
After Kit Graham stole the ball on the edge of the box, she teed up strike partner Gemma Shepherd for the simple finish past Alderson.
Durham looked determined to retake the lead, with Hepple and Nicki Gears both being denied by fine Lynch saves.
Charlton had a glorious chance to retake the lead, when a foul on Graham inside the area saw the referee give a penalty.
But it was Alderson who triumphed, saving Shepherd’s penalty to keep the scores level.
And this save proved vital only three minutes later when the Wildcats retook the lead, Gutteridge heading home Hepple’s corner at the near post.
Alderson proved her worth again moments after the restart, saving well from Graham after she had stolen the ball on the edge of the box.
Chances were few and far between in the second half, with an audacious Hepple free-kick the closest the Wildcats came.
That was until the 87th minute when they added a third when Gears’ cross was flicked home by the head of Gutteridge.
Three goals saw the Wildcats progress to Round Five, with the draw to be made tomorrow.
Durham: Alderson, Wilson, McFadden, Hepple, Gears, Gutteridge, Atkinson, Eadon (Pereira), Christon, Banks (Salicki), Lee (White)Sub Not Used: Borthwick