Caitlin Bates fired a hat-trick as Hartlepool United Ladies trounced Wakefield Ladies 10-0 at Brierton on Sunday to move third in the North East Regional Women’s League Premier Division.
The 21-year-old forward was in devastating form in front of goal as Chris Murphy’s team secured their third successive win to close the gap on Norton & Stockton and Durham Cestria at the top of the table.
Pools began the game on the front foot and had fired a couple of early warning shots on the Wakefield goal before they opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock.
A fantastic clipped through ball from Nicky Duckling fell perfectly in to the run of Bates on the left side of the area and she applied a clinical finish on the volley to leave the keeper with no chance and make it 1-0.
Bates then turned provider when she cleverly jinked in to space on the right of the box before picking out Lottie Portas in the centre and she expertly guided the ball in to the net to double the lead.
Duckling and Jess Dawson were both causing problems for the visiting defence and it was the latter who grabbed the third goal on 26 minutes when she was set away on goal and finished confidently.
The Wakefield keeper was kept busy for the most part and had to produce a series of smart saves to deny Pools as further chances well to Duckling, Dawson and Jade Pye.
However, she was powerless to do anything on 34 minutes when she was caught off her line and Pye produced an outstanding lobbed effort from fully 30 yards to make it 4-0 in spectacular fashion.
There was even time for Pools to grab a fifth before the break when Duckling combined well with Bates to tuck the ball past the keeper and round-off a dominant first half.
Murphy was able to ring the changes during the interval but Pools’ hunger to score goals remained; Hannah Lambert ran forward to set-up fellow substitute Lucy Garrington to make it 6-0 with the second half less than a minute old.
Two minutes later it was 7-0 when the impressive Dawson escaped down the left to fire a cross in to the far post where Lambert was waiting to tuck the ball home.
Just before the hour mark Pools had their eighth goal of the day; Dawson produced another incisive run down the wing and sent another testing ball in to the middle where skipper Justine Robinson was able to apply the finishing touch.
Bates then got back in on the act when she skipped clear of the Wakefield defence and calmly fired the ball past the keeper on 80 minutes to make it 9-0 to a rampant Pools.
She then rattled the bar with a powerful drive before finally completing her hat-trick on 85 minutes when she beat the offside trip to round the keeper and roll the ball home in to an empty net for 10-0.
“It was an excellent performance from start to finish,” explained Murphy afterwards.
“We produced some great passages of play to open up the Wakefield defence time and again, but on the rare occasion they attacked us, our midfield and defensive units did their jobs fantastically well.
“The girls look really confident at the moment and you can see they’re enjoying their football so we have to take that in to another big game at Wallsend next weekend.”
Full Time: Hartlepool United Ladies 10 Wakefield Ladies 0
Pools: Leighton, Bartlett, Robinson, Stuart, Garside, Rowbotham, Basnett, Portas, Bates, Duckling, Dawson.
Subs: Hurrell, Ingram, Garrington, Pye, Lambert.