Charlton Athletic suffer first reverse in FA Women’s Championship

Kathryn Hill and Beth Hepple scored in each half as Durham’s strong home FA Women’s Championship form continued with a 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic.

Hill found the net after just four minutes to give the hosts the perfect start in their bid to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Sheffield United.

And that lead was doubled after the break when Hepple scored from the penalty spot, adding to the goal she scored in the season opener against Watford a fortnight previous.

Ella Rutherford cannoned a free-kick off the home bar in the closing stages but Charlton couldn’t find their way through, losing for the first time in this Championship season.

A miskicked clearance gave Durham an early opening and they certainly made the most of the opportunity, Hill firing home from Hepple’s corner with less than five minutes on the clock at Maiden Castle.

It took until 14 minutes for Charlton to get their first half chance with Beth Roe flashing narrowly wide from distance.

But the hosts remained the stronger side with Bridget Galloway proving a handful, just inches away from converting on more than one occasion.

The visitors were always in contention with just one goal in the game but that all changed 10 minutes into the second half.

A handball in the Charlton box gave Hepple the chance to convert from 12 yards, sending Eartha Cumings the wrong way with her penalty for 2-0.

That all but sealed the contest with the London side unable to fashion many clear-cut opportunities.

But they came close to changing that in second-half stoppage time, with Rutherford desperately unlucky not to find the back of the net when her free-kick rattled the angle of post and bar.

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