Second-half goals for Beth Hepple and Iris Achterhof gave Durham three vital points as they defeated London Bees 3-1 at a wet New Ferens Park.

Amelia Hazard had pulled London level in the first half after Sarah Robson put the Wildcats ahead, but Hepple’s penalty and substitute Achterhof’s late close-range finish sealed the deal.

Durham almost took a 13th-minute lead when London keeper Sarah Quantrill could not hold a Megan Bell cross, but Beth Hepple was unable to turn in the loose ball.

But the hosts went in front on 19 minutes when Robson headed in Hepple’s corner from close range.

Durham had shouts for a penalty turned down three minutes later when Georgia Robert pulled back Nicki Gears.

Referee Lucy-Anne Briggs instead awarded a free-kick and after Hepple’s attempt cannoned off the wall, Gears saw her effort hit the post.

Bees pulled level in the 33rd minute from a Durham corner when London galloped up field with Hazard applying a calm finish for her second goal of the season.

Durham regained the lead on 61 minutes after the referee pointed to the spot from an incident at a corner, with Hepple driving home the penalty.

London came close in a goalmouth scramble soon after while neither Achterhof nor Gears could convert a super Bell delivery from the right.

Durham did get the ball in the away net again in the 86th minute when Achterhof turned in the vibrant Bell’s cross from inside the Bees six-yard box.

Hepple was denied a second goal when her last-minute header rebounded off the woodwork.

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