While this month’s win at Blackburn Rovers was pleasing on a wider note – with the Wildcats making it back-to-back away triumphs – so too did the game hold significance for forward Rio Hardy.
The January arrival from Coventry netted her first goal since arriving in the North East, clinically slotting home after Ellie Christon’s fine run.
And for Hardy, it represented something of a relief – after seeing two goals chalked-off in previous league matches.
“It’s obviously nice to get my first goal,” she said.
“Now that one has come, hopefully a lot more will start to come.
“It was more important that we got the three points.
“It was a really good performance from us all and something we can build on for the rest of the season.”
The win saw Durham keep the pace with the teams battling it out for positions at the top of the table – and the striker is keen to see momentum built in the coming weeks.
“We’re building for the end of the season and next season now,” added Hardy.
“That win gives us momentum to do as well as we can and finish as high as we can.”
While Hardy had to wait for her first goal, her impact since arriving has been profound – and along with fellow forwards Bridget Galloway and Liz Ejupi – has contributed plenty in recent weeks.
And it’s not just on the field where Hardy has made a quick impact. She’s settled in quickly behind the scenes, too.
“I think I’ve settled in really well,” she admitted.
“All the girls are really nice and football-wise we’re starting to push on and I’m starting to assert myself in the league again.
“The transition was made easy, really,’ Hardy continued.
“That’s down to the girls – they’re a great bunch. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.
“We’re all a similar age, have similar interets, we get on well and they’ve helped me slot in quite nicely.
“I couldn’t ask for two nicer housemates in Liz and Naoisha either.
“We do a lot of things together and they’ve definitely helped me settle in quite well.”
And while the players have played their part in welcoming Hardy, so too have the club’s loyal supporters – who met her first goal at Bamber Bridge with rapturous applause.
The striker’s signing gained considerable praise from fans, and their back of the 25-year-old has continued ever since.
“It’s nice to feel appreciated and wanted here at Durham,” she said.
“I definitely feel that from the fans – they get behind myself and the girls every weekend.
“That’s definitely only going to be a good thing.”
So what are Hardy’s hopes for the remainder of the campaign?
“Personally I just want to score as many goals as I can.
“We all want to win football games and I think we have the squad to do that – so we want to kick on, win some games and finish as high as we can.”
Get your tickets and cheer on Rio and Durham against Sunderland on April 24th – as we look to get a crowd of #1KForDerbyDay!