SARAH McFadden struck a first-half screamer as Durham Women moved third in FA Women’s Super League two with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at New Ferens Park.

Villa dominated the early exchanges, and missed two fantastic opportunities in the first ten minutes with Katie Wilkinson missing an open net and Bethan Merrick striking wide with the goal at her mercy.

Sarah Eadon, McFadden and Beth Hepple all finished clinically to ensure Durham moved ahead of Everton and maintained pressure on second-placed Bristol ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

Hepple blazed Durham’s first chance over the bar, but the Wildcats took the lead five minutes before the break as Eadon and Roberts’ excellent interplay allowed McFadden to curl in a wonderful effort .

Durham continued to press in the second half, Chloe Macek’s cross found Eadon inside the area, and her shot was deflected wide by Hannah George. But from the resulting corner, Rebecca Salicki rose highest to head in her first goal for the club and make it 2-0.

Four minutes later, Durham captain Sarah Wilson thundered a volley against the crossbar before Eadon nodded the ball over the line to score her first goal for the club.

Durham Women (4-3-3): Alderson; Christon, Wilson, Salicki, Macek; Hepple (Elliott 88), McFadden, Lee (Corrie 88); Roberts, Eadon (Dodds 86), Atkinson. Subs (not used): Darkoah, Gutteridge.

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