Durham Women fell to defeat despite a resilient display against Bristol City Women.
Olivia Fergusson’s first half strike was enough for the hosts who strengthened their promotion ambitions with three points.
The Wildcats had chances though – with Sarah McFadden’s near post header after the break the closest they came.
Lee Sanders made two changes from the side that beat Millwall Lionesses as Helen Alderson and Jen Jennings returned to the starting line-up.
And both were busy early on as the Vixens started on the front foot, with Georgia Evans shooting high and wide from distance within the opening minute.
Willie Kirk’s side continued to push forward but were unable to find a way past Alderson despite having a string of corners alongside the majority of possession.
That was until the 19th minute, when Fergusson surged in from the right before drilling into the bottom corner.
Bristol continued to push forward with Claire Emslie glancing a header over the bar before the Wildcats threatened through Beth Hepple – the midfielder seeing her dipping long-ranger held by Hannah Reid.
Having dealt with a lot of pressure in the first half, Durham were able to push forward in the second and began to create chances of their own.
McFadden had the best opportunity of the lot as she powered a header narrowly wide after Emily Roberts’ cross.
Chances continued to come, with a Hepple corner almost met by the onrushing Becky Salicki before McFadden saw an effort fly over the bar.
The hosts were still dangerous though, and Alderson had to be alert to deny substitute Lauren Hemp from close range as she found space to get on to a cross.
Durham finished the game on top as they put pressure on their hosts, but were unable to find a way past a resolute defence.
Durham: Alderson; Christon, Wilson, Salicki, Jennings (Eadon); Hepple, Lee (Dodds), McFadden; Atkinson, Roberts, Gutteridge
Subs Not Used: Borthwick, Macek, Gibson