Durham Women returned to winning ways with a resounding victory over Coventry United.
Five different scorers netted as the Wildcats blew aside their visitors, with goals from Saoirse Noonan, Jess Clarke, Lily Crosthwaite, Becky Salicki and Dee Bradley sealing victory.
In front of a vocal home crowd, it was Durham who had all the early running without creating any clear-cut chances – although Noonan did fire over after latching onto Clarke’s flick.
But Coventry grew into the game and came close when Mollie Green arrowed a free-kick narrowly over the bar.
Meaningful chances were still few and far between though, until the 37th minute when the hosts struck.
A teasing Clarke cross was begging for a touch and Noonan bravely put her head into danger to steer it home and open the scoring.
It would be two moments later as Clarke turned scorer – sending a fabulous first-time volley into the bottom corner after Coventry failed to fully clear a free-kick.
There were chances for a third before the break too, with Lauren Briggs and Grace Ayre both denied by Safia Middleton-Patel.
And the momentum continued after the restart as Crosthwaite’s low cross was agonisingly close to being turned home by Noonan.
The reprieve would only be temporary though as Crosthwaite would soon net a well-deserved third as she pinched the ball off the opposition stopper before firing into an empty net.
Coventry would set up a nervy period when Isobel Goodwin headed home on the hour, but they failed to seriously test Naoisha McAloon after that.
Instead, Durham continued to up progress through the gears and finished the game with a flourish.
Substitute Beth Hepple provided some extra attacking spark and her cross after a short corner was nodded home by Salicki for a fourth.
Clarke was then denied a spectacular second when Middleton-Patel held her volley before Maria Farrugia’s low cross just evaded the onrushing attackers.
A fifth would come late on though as Bradley poked home after a scramble in the box, with the officials taking time to check the ball had crossed the line before awarding the goal.
Salicki struck the woodwork in added time, but five goals were enough as Durham claimed a big victory.
Durham W vs Coventry Utd W
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|March 5, 2023||12:00 pm||BWC||2022_2023||90'|