Durham Women kicked-off the FA WSL Spring Series in perfect style after a narrow victory over Millwall Lionesses.
Sarah McFadden netted the decisive goal in the first half to ensure the Wildcats kicked off the 2017 season with three points.
Lee Sanders named an unchanged side after his side’s FA Women’s Cup victory over Keynsham Town, and the hosts started brightly with Beth Hepple seeing an early effort held by Sarah Quantrill.
Clear-cut chances were few and far between, with Jen Jennings’ ball into the box unable to be converted by Zoe Ness before Ashlee Hincks saw a goal chalked out for offside as the visitors mounted a rare attack.
But the deadlock was to be broken after 37 minutes as Durham opened the scoring – McFadden reacting quickest to poke the ball home after her initial effort had been tipped onto the crossbar.
There was almost a second for the Wildcats before the break with Hepple’s long-range free-kick dropping just over the bar after she looked to catch out Sarah Quantrill.
The second half was a far more low-key affair, with very few chances of note as the weather conditions wreaked havoc.
Durham were indebted to Helen Alderson, though, who pulled off two tremendous saves to keep their lead intact.
The first saw her tip Hincks’ low drive around the post before she somehow got into the top corner to turn Amber Gaylor’s long range effort over the bar.
Both McFadden and Becky Salicki thought they had increased the Wildcats’ lead late on, only to see their headers drop the wrong side of the post.
One goal was enough for Durham, however, who kick-off the Spring Series with three points ahead of the visit of Everton Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup next week.
Durham XI: Alderson, Jennings, Wilson, McFadden, Hepple, Ness, Atkinson (Gutteridge), Salicki, Christon, Roberts, Lee
Subs Not Used: Borthwick, Dodds, Gibson, Johnson