Beth Hepple netted her fourth goal of the season as Durham secured a 1-0 victory over London City Lionesses at Maiden Castle this afternoon.
In a game littered with full-blooded challenges, Hepple netted the only goal a minute before half-time when she drilled the ball home from 18 yards.
Both sides went close in the opening 10 minutes of the match. Lily Agg curled a free-kick just over the bar for the visitors while Nicki Gears tried her best to replicate Jordan Nobbs’ goal in the North London derby, only to see her shot dip the wrong side of the crossbar.
Durham looked the more likely team to break the deadlock but chances were at a premium with Mollie Lambert’s deflected effort the only other real chance of note in the opening 40 minutes.
The deadlock was broken a minute before half-time when Hepple found a moment’s space on the edge on the London City Lionesses’ box and drove the ball low into the far corner of visiting keeper Shae Yanez’s net.
Molly Sharpe got in a good position to extend Durham’s lead early in the second half but curled her strike over the bar before Hepple fired a free-kick into the arms of the waiting Yanez. The game the began to become disjointed with some whole-hearted challenges being made by both sides.
There was one further goalscoring opportunity when Yanez struck the ball straight at Durham substitute Bridget Galloway. The forward was edged out wide by the covering London City Lionesses defender and she could not direct the ball on target from what was a narrowing angle.
Neither side went any closer to adding to the scoreline as the hosts made it seven points collected from an available nine, leaving them in a strong position in the FA Women’s Championship promotion race.