Justine Robinson delivered another superb performance as she hit a second successive hat-trick in Pools Women’s 5-3 win at South Shields on Sunday.
The skipper has been lethal in front of goal this term and her latest treble means she finishes as Pools’ top scorer with 25 goals – a tally only bettered in the NERWFL Premier Division by Durham Cestria’s Lauren Robson.
It was Robinson who broke the deadlock on Sunday after a cagey start at Shields, when some excellent link-up play between Caitlin Bates and Jenny Duffy-Smith set her through on goal and she produced a confident finish for 1-0 on 22 minutes.
Pools went on to dominate the remainder of the first half and pushed for a second goal, though the hosts continued to look a threat on the counter-attack.
However, Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ side doubled their advantage seven minutes in to the second half when Robinson again raced clear of the home defence before chipping the ball over the keeper and in to the net.
The confidence with which Pools were playing was now obvious but concentration levels slipped a little on 55 minutes and that allowed the Shields striker to get through and pull a goal back.
The setback shocked Pools in to action and for the next fifteen minutes they played some devastating football and pushed the game beyond Shields with three quick-fire goals.
First Jade Pye struck a rocket in to the net from twenty yards to make it 3-1 before the impressive Kate Hampson escaped through on goal and chipped the advancing keeper for a brilliant fourth goal.
Robinson then completed her hat-trick on 70 minutes to underline Pools’ superiority and confirm their runners-up spot ahead of their hosts in the Premier Division.
Shields did rally towards the end and they managed to pull a couple of consolation goals back but the result was never in doubt as Pools secured their 14th league win of an excellent campaign.
“We were outstanding at times and the final score probably didn’t truly reflect our dominance,” insisted Gibbon-Hayes afterwards.
“We were particularly impressive in the second half when we looked like scoring every time we went forward, though our concentration did slip a few times for the goals we conceded.
“I am excited that we finished the season on a high and now the preparation we’ve already begun will continue towards pre-season as we target promotion to the National League.”
Full Time: South Shields 3 Pools 5
Pools: R Smith, Bartlett, Stuart, Duffy-Smith, Stabler, Rowbotham, Smith, Hampson (Carter 71), Robinson, Bates, Pye (Lambert 71).
Subs not used: Campbell.
Photos: Lisa Stabler