HEAD coach Rob Atkin likened Durham’s charge in FA Women’s Super League Two to that of Hartlepool competing in the Champions League after defeat to Watford.
Striker Jo Wilson netted twice as Watford secured their first win of the season at the expense of Durham, who have now lost three from three.
Wilson’s two first-half goals were enough to secure a narrow victory despite substitute Yasmine Hardy pulling one back for the hosts late on.
And Atkin said: “I was talking to somebody the other day – if you were told they were putting Hartlepool in the Champions League and they wanted you to coach them – that is what it is like for us.
“There are no illusions.
We know who we’re up against. There are a few teams who are starting off at the bottom and we’re one of them. The players are learning week by week.”
“Second-half I thought they were really galvanised.
They had good chances which just didn’t go in. All in all you have to be positive though.”
The Hornets were in front just nine minutes in, Wilson seizing on Ellie Christon’s poor backpass to slot in from close-range.
Wilson made no mistake from Sarah Wiltshire’s low cross on the stroke of half-time, the striker turning in from close range.
And she could have sealed her hat-trick on 57 minutes, racing onto Wiltshire’s defence-splitting pass, but Danielle Hill saved with her legs.
Durham pressed for a way back however, and Zoe Ness shot narrowly over from Stacy Crooks’ pull-back on 74 minutes.
Hardy’s half-volley, after good work from Ness in the area, gave Durham hope with seven minutes remaining. Wiltshire then missed a great chance to seal the tie on 89 minutes, missing from close-range.