REPORT: Durham 3-0 Watford Ladies

Beth Hepple’s brace either side of a strike from Emily Roberts handed the Wildcats a comfortable victory over Watford Ladies.

Hepple fired the Wildcats into a first half lead as they dominated proceedings, before Roberts then netted her first for the club after the break.

Vice-captain Hepple then added a third 20 minutes from time as Durham wrapped up a win that keeps them in touch with the top three.

After defeat to Yeovil last weekend, manager Lee Sanders made two changes to the side as Chloe Macek and Tyler Dodds returned.

And it was Dodds who had the first real chance of the game as she cut in from the left before firing high and wide.

Durham continued to press forward and almost took the lead when Jordan Atkinson found Hepple at the back post, with the midfielder only able to fire over.

But Hepple made amends for this miss moments later as she latched on to Becky Salicki’s free-kick to fire home from close range.

Chances continued to come with Salicki heading over from a corner before Roberts rounded Watford stopper Lucy Gillett only to find the side netting.

It looked as if Durham had a second on the stroke of half-time as Hepple saw a shot saved before Atkinson struck the post, with Roberts’ follow-up then somehow being kept out by the Hornets’ defence.

The Wildcats continued their fine performance after the break, with Nat Gutteridge firing narrowly wide from long range after Gillett had misplaced a goal-kick.

Hepple then had two chances as she first saw a lobbed effort strike the bar before Gillett did well to tip her effort around the post.

Pressure tolled on 55 minutes when Emily Roberts surged through the defence before cooly slotting home to grab her first goal for the club.

The hosts seemed keen to add to their advantage and struck the crossbar again as Atkinson saw a powerful drive from the edge of the box strike the crossbar.

A third was added on 69 minutes when Hepple picked up the ball on the edge of the area and curled home.

Roberts almost added a second of her own minutes later, only for Gillett to deny her acrobatic effort, before both Atkinson and substitute Sarah Eadon spurred further chances when they found themselves through on goal.

Three goals was enough for Durham, though, who keep pace with the top three in FA WSL 2.

Durham: Alderson; Macek (Johnson), Wilson, Salicki, Christon; Hepple, Gutteridge (Eadon), McFadden; Atkinson, Dodds (Darkoah), Eadon

Subs Not Used: Borthwick, Gibson

Attendance: 357

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