Rio Hardy’s six-minute hat-trick helped Durham Women to a much-needed victory over Coventry United.
The striker netted a treble against her former club to seal a dominant win for the Wildcats, who had cruised into an early lead thanks to goals from Jess Clarke and Saoirse Noonan.
Simran Jhamat pulled one back late on for the hosts, but it was Durham who claimed a vital three points.
The Wildcats made three changes from the side that lost to Charlton as Noonan, Grace Ayre and Mollie Lambert were handed starts.
And the latter played a key role as Durham opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock – threading in Clarke who lofted the ball over Jodie Whiteman and in.
That buoyed the visitors who continue to attack relentlessly, with Beth Hepple drilling narrowly wide as the side pushed forward in search of a second.
They thought that second had come on nine minutes when Clarke slid home from Hardy’s centre, but the offside flag was raised to put a premature end to celebrations.
But a second would come shortly after as Hepple played a fine ball up to Noonan, who fired into the top corner from the edge of the area after expertly spinning away from her marker.
Clarke came close to making it three when she was denied from the edge of the area, while Hardy was unfortunate not to turn home a low Lambert centre.
The striker wouldn’t have to wait long to get on the scoresheet though, as she drove to the byline before cutting inside and firing into the roof of the net from what seemed an impossible angle.
And within six minutes she would secure her treble – first seeing a low drive deflect into the bottom corner before then twisting and turning away from her marker before smashing into the side netting.
There was no let-off from Durham after the restart either, with Noonan crashing an early effort off the bar as the visitors continued to dictate proceedings.
Coventry did have some rare sights of goal, with Mary McAteer seeing a half-volley deflected wide.
Clarke then saw another goal chalked-off after turning home from the corner, before substitute Maria Farrugia sent an effort past the post.
Chances were at a premium after that, although Coventry did pull one back late on as Jhamat bundled home from a free-kick.
But Durham were more than good value for their win, which was their third of the Barclays Women’s Championship campaign.
Coventry Utd W vs Durham W
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|November 20, 2022||12:00 pm||BWC||2022_2023||90'|