Hartlepool United Women returned to winning ways in style with a 5-0 win over Bishop Auckland Ladies at Grayfields on Sunday afternoon. Goals from Anya Geary, Demi Fielding, Macy Thornton and a brace from Robyn Foster gave Craig Bage's side an emphatic victory that they deserved on the quality of their performance.
Both sides started with intent and fired early warning shots, Anya Geary had a shot saved while the visitors fired an effort wide of the goal.
After an even opening first fifteen minutes, Pools quickly took control of the game during the first half. Anya Geary had another shot on target, Anna Charlton went on a mazy run into the box before seeing her shot saved and Zara Johnson's low strike from 18 yards was well gathered by the Bishop Auckland goalkeeper.
It seemed as though it was just a matter of time before Pools went ahead and Craig Bage's side found the breakthrough in the 30th minute. Poppy Forster played Anya Geary through down the right hand side and Geary struck a first-time effort which looped into the bottom corner.
Pools doubled their lead nine minutes later. Some nice build-up play led to Laura Keogh picking up the ball down the right, the full back sent a cross into the box which was swept in by Robyn Foster to make it 2-0.
Craig Bage's side refused to rest on their laurels and set about finding another goal to make the lead comfortable. Lauren Gray hit a speculative 30 yard effort which whistled just wide of the Bishops' goal.
The third goal came on the stroke of half time, Robyn Foster picked up the ball 25 yards out and struck an unstoppable drive into the top right corner to give Pools a three goal cushion.
After the break, Pools set about extending the lead and putting the game out of sight of their opponents. Anya Geary saw a shot on the turn well saved while substitute Demi Fielding was played through on goal by Lauren Gray but her shot was tipped wide by the visiting goalkeeper.
Pools' fourth came from the resulting corner. Robyn Foster played a one-two with Zara Johnson before sending a delightful ball into the box which was nodded in by Fielding.
The final half hour continued in a similar vein with Pools dominating and looking to add to the scoresheet. The impressive Lauren Gray had a free kick saved and Robyn Foster had an attempt to complete a hat trick but was denied by the Bishop goalkeeper. At the other end, Lauren Ranson was in no mood to be beaten and made a strong save from a rare visitors attack.
The fifth and final goal came three minutes from time. Anna Charlton's searching crossfield ball played through substitute Macy Thornton and the young forward took a touch before confidently slotting into the bottom corner.
Lauren Ranson (sponsored by The Training Club)
Laura Keogh (sponsored by JND Solutions)
Poppy Forster (sponsored by Falcon Electrical and P.A.T Testing)
Emily Stuart (sponsored by Garvey's I.T. Services)
Anna Charlton (sponsored by BR Gardens Easington New page)
Lauren Gray (sponsored by Hydraulic and Offshore Supplies)
Jess Bage (sponsored by Zulcron Sports)
Zara Johnson (sponsored by Avec Sport)
Demi Fielding - on 46
Macy Thornton (sponsored by Paul Beddow) - on 63
Liv Bell - on 71
Michaela Garvey (sponsored by Dad Loves Food) - on 79