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Durham Women 3 (Hepple 17,68, Roberts 54) Watford 0
Beth Hepple's brace either side of a strike from Emily Roberts handed the Wildcats a comfortable victory over Watford and got their promotion challenge back on track.
It was Tyler Dodds who had the first real chance of the game as she cut in from the left before firing high and wide. Durham continued to press forward and almost took the lead when Jordan Atkinson found Hepple at the back post, with the midfielder only able to fire over.
However Hepple made amends for this miss moments later as she latched on to Becky Salicki's free kick to fire home from close range for the opening goal.
Chances continued to come with Salicki heading over from a corner before Roberts rounded Watford stopper Lucy Gillett only to find the side netting. It looked as if Durham had a second on the stroke of half time as Hepple saw a shot saved before Atkinson struck the post, with Roberts' follow up then somehow being kept out by the Hornets' defence.
The Wildcats continued their fine performance after the break, with Natalie Gutteridge firing narrowly wide from long range after Gillett had misplaced a goal kick. Hepple then had two chances as she first saw a lobbed effort strike the bar, before Gillett did well to tip her effort around the post.
Pressure told on 55 minutes when Emily Roberts surged through the defence before coolly slotting home to grab her first goal for the club. The hosts seemed keen to add to their advantage and hit the woodwork again as Atkinson saw a powerful drive from the edge of the box strike the bar.
A third was added on 69 minutes when Hepple picked up the ball on the edge of the area and curled home. Roberts almost added a second of her own minutes later, only for Gillett to deny her acrobatic effort, before both Atkinson and substitute Sarah Eadon spurred further chances when they found themselves through on goal.
Durham Women: Helen Alderson, Chloe Macek (sub Annabel Johnson 66mins), Sarah Wilson, Sarah McFadden, Beth Hepple, Natalie Gutteridge (sub Sarah Eadon 78mins), Jordan Atkinson, Becky Salicki, Ellie Christon, Emily Roberts, Tyler Dodds (sub Mercy Darkoah 57mins). Subs not used: Megan Borthwick, Nicola Gibson.
Watford: Lucy Gillett, Jordan Littleboy, Nicole Pepper, Anneka Nuttall, Ellie Mason, Phoebe Read, Charlotte Kerr, Hannah Samuels, Katie Stanley (sub Adekite Fatuga-Dada 74mins), Sahara Osborne-Ricketts, Anne-Laure Davy (sub Chloe Bassett 52mins). Subs not used: Victoria Wotton.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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