Durham Women kept their promotion push alive with a well-deserved victory over London Bees.
In a game of few chances, it took a stunning strike from Kathryn Hill to seal the win for the Wildcats – who remain unbeaten in 2019.
While chances may have been at a premium, Durham were dominant thought and were excellent value for the win.
Lee Sanders’ side enjoyed the early pressure, with Rachel Lee firing narrowly wide in the game’s first opening.
Sarah Robson then saw a deflected effort tipped behind by Bees stopper Sarah Quantrill before Zoe Ness sent an effort narrowly wide of the far post as the Wildcats upped the pressure.
Set-pieces were proving a useful avenue for the hosts, with Robson powering a header narrowly over the bar from Lisa Robertson’s pin-point delivery.
The game was goalless at the interval – but there looked to be a breakthrough just five minutes after the restart as Nicki Gears slotted past Quantrill, only for the offside flag to bring an end to the celebrations.
But ultimately it mattered little, as Durham found the goal their dominance deserved on 68 minutes.
And it came in some style – Hill stealing back possession before firing an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner from 35 yards.
Ness was then denied by Quantrill and Salicki sent a header wide as Durham sought a second.
The Wildcats were given a late scare, though, as substitute Connie Forman seized possession in the area but could only prod wide from an acute angle.
While they saw plenty of the ball late on, one goal proved enough for Durham who keep pace with their promotion rivals.
Durham XI: Reid, Hill, Robertson, Wilson, Robson, Ness (Dixon), Gears, Salicki, Cottam (Christon), Holmes, Lee (Hepple)
Subs not used: Knott, Borthwick