Hartlepool United Ladies stormed in to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with an emphatic victory at Chester-le-Street St Cuthberts on Sunday.
Andy Stuart’s girls enjoyed a good run in the prestigious SSE Women’s FA Cup last term and will be looking to have another good campaign this time around.
Pools were keen to respond after losing in the League Cup in their opening game of the season last weekend and they made the perfect start by going in front on three minutes.
Jenni Duffy-Smith has been working on her set-pieces in training and it paid off in memorable style as he in-swinging corner found its way in the net directly to open the scoring.
Before the hosts had time to recover, Pools were two up. Caitlin Bates latched on to a lovely through ball to finish smartly with a crisp volley.
And the game was still only six minutes old when Nicky Duckling ran through on to Mae Rackstraw’s ball to roll home another goal and make it 3-0.
The home side recovered their composure a little after that but Pools defended stoutly and were able to add a fourth goal on 18 minutes when Bates was on target with her second of the afternoon.
Duffy-Smith split the Chester-le-Street defence with an incisive through ball for Duckling and she again showed real calmness to slide the ball in to the net for 5-0 on 21 minutes.
Pools made it 6-0 ten minutes in to the second half when Bates completed her hat-trick, converting from the penalty spot after she had been brought down inside the area.
Duckling then followed suit by snatching her third goal of the day when she picked the pocket of a Chester-le-Street defender on the edge of the box and smashed the ball in to the net.
And the scoring was completed eight minutes from time when Duffy-Smith was able to outpace the home defence with a driving run before producing an excellent finish across the keeper for 9-0.
“That was the standard of performance we want to try and produce every week,” admitted Assistant Manager Chris Murphy.
“It was a great team performance with some standout displays from Jenni Duffy-Smith and Lottie Portas who were both outstanding in midfield.
“A special mention has to go to Mae Rackstraw and Fiona McAlpine who have only recently signed for us and were making their FA Cup debuts but both played their part in the win.”
Next up for the Ladies is their opening league game of the season when they travel to Wakefield Ladies on Sunday 24th September.
Full Time: Chester-le-Street St Cuthberts 0 Hartlepool United Ladies 9
Pools: Smith, Rackstraw, Garside (Bartlett 38), Robinson, Stuart, McAlpine, Portas (Leighton 70), Bates (Pye 56), Duckling, Hurrell, Duffy-Smith.
Subs not used: Lambert.