By: Mark Donnelly, Durham Women’s FC
Durham Women continued their unbeaten start to the Continental Tyres Cup campaign with a convincing win over Coventry United.
A brace from Beth Hepple and strikes from Kathryn Hill and Holly Manders sealed victory – and the margin could have been greater.
The Wildcats had beaten Aston Villa and Blackburn in their opening two Group A games, and began the clash against Coventry on the front foot.
Megan Bell saw an early effort turned around the post before her header rippled the side netting as the hosts poured forward.
Hepple sent an effort wide of the far post before Lisa Robertson’s curler swerved the wrong side of the upright.
But a breakthrough would come on 22 minutes as some fine pressing handed Hepple possession, and she made no mistake as she found the bottom corner from 25 yards.
And it was two soon after, with a fine passing move involving Manders and Bell allowed Robertson to round the ‘keeper before squaring for Hepple to tap home.
There was time for a third before the break too as Hill rose highest to power a header past stopper Lucy Gardner.
The second half was a more pedestrian affair, with chances few and far between.
Substitute Sarah Robson fired over after a slick passing move before Manders was denied at close range.
But Manders would soon have the goal her performance deserved – firing home from Bell’s low centre to net her first goal for the club.
Coventry had a late chance for a consolation goal, but Borthwick’s instinctive save kept the clean sheet intact and ensured Durham’s fine cup form continued.
Durham XI: Borthwick, Hill, Robertson (Sharpe), Wilson (Robson), Hepple, Gears, Bell, Manders, Salicki, Christon, Weithofer
Durham subs not used: Reid