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Watford Ladies got their first win of the Super League season by beating Durham 2-1
9:00pm Thursday 1st May 2014 in Sport
Watford Ladies got their Women's Super League season up-and-running with a 2-1 victory at Durham.
Jo Wilson scored a brace for the Golden Girls, with Yasmine Hardy the Durham goalscorer.
It took nine minutes for John Salomon's side to open the scoring, capitalising on an error from Durham.
Wilson latched onto a poor back pass from a Durham player, progressing to finish past Danielle Hill in the Durham goal.
Watford began to take control of the game and controlled possession well, Sarah Wiltshire denied by Hill after being played in by Bonnie Horwood.
Goalkeeper Lauren Davey returned between the sticks after a ten-month absence and was untested until the 27th minute, comfortably saving Zoe Ness' ambitious effort.
Wilson and Wiltshire were linking-up impressively and combined well to grab Watford's second.
On the stroke of half-time Wilson found Wiltshire, who in turn crossed for Wilson to tap home her second.
The Hornets continued to press after the re-start, searching out a third goal that would not come despite a host of opportunities.
Cally Rowell, Emma Beckett and Katie Natkiel all come close, but could not find a third.
The best opportunity fell the way of Wilson, who was denied by the legs of Durham keeper Hill.
With 16 minutes remaining, Durham nearly got back into the game when Ness shot over after good work from Stacey Crooks.
Wiltshire thought she had added a third with eight minutes remaining, but the linesman's flag cut short her joy.
Just a minute later, Durham pulled a goal back to set up a nervy finish, Hardy firing into the top corner to give Davey no chance.
In the 89th minute Wiltshire saw another gilt-edged chance go astray, shooting wide after Natikiel had her initial effort spilt by Hill.
Speaking after, manager Salomon praised his side and in particular, the link-up play between Wiltshire and Wilson.
"I thought the link-up play between Jo and Sarah was really good, the wide players did well and linked in and the midfielders were linking the play from the back into those attacking players as well," said Salomon.
"I’m really pleased with the performance, we’ve worked hard on what we’ve learnt so far this season and step by step we’re seeing those improvements."
Meanwhile Davey praised the unity of the players: "It was a fantastic performance from every single person that’s travelled up to Durham, whether they’ve been playing or on the bench, even Gemma Bryan has come and supported the team.
"Everyone’s been great and we’ve just got to keep that going moving on to the next game."
Watford's Under-12 Harts remain top of the league thanks to a 2-1 win over Bishop's Stortford on Saturday.
After a nervy start, Watford took the lead through Amy Ryan's one-on-one finish.
Victory was sealed when Emma Calabrese scored the Golden Girls' second.
There should have been a third, but Jemimah Rose saw her penalty saved.
The Harts are now three points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand over second-place Hemel Hempstead.
Watford's Under-18s were thrashed 10-1 by a ruthless Islington side on Sunday.
Jessie Hanson scored Watford's consolation strike.
The Under-16 Hornets beat Garston Ladies Mets 1-0 on Saturday, Zoe Clarabut scoring the winner.
Watford's Under-14 Hornets had a better weekend, thumping Bury Rangers 5-0.
Sinead Carroll, Danielle Maloney, Rebecca McShane and Olivia Syson (2) the goalscorers.
A 7-0 defeat against King George leaves the Under-11s bottom of their league.
The table-toppers were comfortably the better side and had it not been for a good performance from Watford goalkeeper Bailey Hewitt, the damage could have been worse.
There was a heavy defeat for Watford's Under-10s too, beaten 5-0 by Bedwell Rangers Diamonds.
Stand-in keeper Carys Harvey was player of the match.
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