Pools Women’s Team stormed through to the semi-finals of the NERWFL League Cup on Sunday after a 5-0 win over Boro Rangers in Eston.
The victory sets up an exciting last four tie against a powerful Durham Cestria outfit, who wrapped up the NERWFL Premier Division title at the weekend with three games still to play.
Sunday’s fixture against Boro Rangers – who play a division below Pools – survived the bad weather but both teams had to compete against a very strong wind throughout the contest.
With several players unavailable for the game, Pools boss Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes was forced to make some changes to his starting eleven and that led to a cagey opening ten minutes.
However, Pools sprung to life on the quarter-hour mark when Caitlin Bates raced through on goal only to see her effort drift wide, while Jussy Robinson had a good chance but also saw her shot fly just off-target.
The hosts were defending with determination and playing mainly on the counter-attack but Pools’ centre-backs Sarah Bartlett and Emily Stuart stood firm in the face of any danger.
Just after the half-hour mark Pools broke the deadlock as some great inter-play between Jenni Duffy-Smith and Sarah Rowbotham sent Robinson through and she unselfishly pulled the ball back for Bates who made no mistake to fire home.
The wind was more in Pools’ favour during the second half but some stubborn defending from the home side made it difficult and they showed good quality in attempting to stop Gibbon-Hayes team moving further in front.
However, on 69 minutes it was 2-0 when the outstanding Aimee Stabler broke forward from left-back and found Bates who showed a killer instinct to lash the ball home from just outside the area.
That goal seemed to steady any nerves in the Pools camp and they quickly added a third when a wicked delivery from Duffy-Smith caused chaos in the Rangers box and Stuart was in the right place to prod the ball in to the net.
Skipper Robinson made it 4-0 ten minutes from time, getting on the end of another excellent set-piece from Duffy to head home and finish the tie.
There was even time for a fifth goal five minutes later when a well-worked short corner found Stabler and her cross picked out Robinson who nodded in her second of the afternoon to make it 5-0.
“I thought the conditions played a big part but we stuck at it and were deserved winners to continue our unbeaten start,” said Gibbon-Hayes.
“Credit to Boro Rangers because they have some quality players who competed all through the game but I thought we did enough to earn the result in the end.
“Andy and I are feeling very lucky to work with this group of players and it’s a massive week for the Club now in preparation for the semi-final with Durham.”
Full Time: Boro Rangers 0 Pools 5
Pools: Campbell, Rackstraw, Bartlett, Stuart, Stabler, Smith, Portas, Rowbotham (Carter 63), Duffy-Smith, Robinson, Bates.
Photos: Lisa Stabler