Durham Women continued their unbeaten start to the season courtesy of a 1-0 win at London Bees.
Beth Hepple’s fine first-half finish was enough for the Wildcats, who moved into the top four of the FA Women’s Championship.
Lee Sanders named an unchanged side from that which beat Crystal Palace last time out, but the Wildcats had to soak up some early pressure from the hosts before they could stamp their authority on the game.
Hannah Reid made a smart stop from Emma Beckett’s free-kick before Zoe Ness saw a shot from an acute angle saved by Sarah Quantrill.
Emily Roberts was the next to be denied by the Bees stopper as Durham upped the ante – but they wouldn’t have to wait long for the opener.
After a cross fell at her feet, Ness was once again denied by Quantrill. But this time, Hepple was on hand to slot into the bottom corner and net her third goal of the season.
Durham continued to press forward, with Ness curling over from the edge of the box, but were still aware of the threat posed by their hosts.
Indeed, skipper Sarah Wilson – making her 100th appearance for the club – had to make a fine tackle to stop Ruesha Littlejohn in her tracks before Reid denied Connie Forman after she broke into the area.
Chances were at a premium in the second half, with Bees seeing plenty of the ball but failing to seriously trouble Reid.
The stopper’s only save of note was to deny Beckett from a free-kick once more – Reid adapting to save after the ball took a wicked move mid-flight.
It was the Wildcats creating the better opportunities with Ness having a goal chalked off for offside before Roberts struck the post after a good spell of pressure.
Substitute Nicki Gears was twice denied by Quantrill late on, but one goal proved enough for Durham who continue their fine start to the season.
Durham XI: Reid, Wilson, Robson, Hepple, Ness, Salicki, Christon, Roberts, Cottam (Gears), Holmes, Lee (Dixon)
Subs not used: Knott, Borthwick