Justine Robinson scored an astonishing fourth hat-trick in a row as Pools Women got their league season off to a flying start by thrashing York City 8-0 at East Durham College on Sunday.
Having won 11-1 at Carlisle United in the FA Cup last weekend, Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ side approached their opening NERWFL Premier Division fixture with confidence.
Despite having a number of players unavailable for selection, Pools still ran out comfortable winners on the day with skipper Robinson once again proving invaluable for the hosts.
The 29-year-old was on the scoresheet as early as the 10th minute when she raced through on goal before smashing it beyond the City goalkeeper to make it 1-0.
Jenni Duffy-Smith’s inswinging corner from the right then set up the second as Jade Pye nodded home from close range before the same duo combined again from a left-wing corner to make it 3-0 on 24 minutes.
A wonderful through-ball from Becky Hanratty sent Robinson one-on-one with the keeper once again just before the half-hour mark and this time she clinically stroked a low finish in to the bottom corner.
With Robinson and Robyn Ingram both having hit the woodwork during a dominant first half, it looked like a real rout was on the cards but Pools went in to their shells a little at the start of the second period.
The visitors grew in confidence and began to knock the ball around a little more, causing Pools a few problems down the left flank, though keeper Becks Lillystone was rarely tested.
Robinson completed her treble with another fine finish just after the hour to make it 5-0 but it was a three-goal blast inside the final six minutes of the game which added gloss to the scoreline.
Firstly, Hanratty cleverly back-heeled her first goal for the Club after York had failed to deal with a corner delivered in to the near post and the forward was alert enough to take advantage.
That goal obviously gave her the taste for more because Hanratty then curled home a delicious second off the underside of the crossbar following a flowing team move from Pools.
Substitute Lucy Hammond-Garrington made it 8-0 right at the death when her free-kick from twenty-five yards proved too hot to handle for the visiting keeper and it squirmed through and in to the net.
“We’ve won 8-0 but I’m still not that happy,” admitted Gibbon-Hayes afterwards.
“It’s about setting standards and one of those is to be ruthless so at 4-0 on 30 minutes we need to be totally killing the game off much better than we did.
“We allowed York a 20 or 25 minutes period where they were showing signs of getting back in to the game but our superior fitness told in the end, I think.
“We’re starting the season as league favourites so to begin with a win like that is positive and I am happy with the clean sheet too so now we have to build on it.”
Full Time: Pools 8 York City 0
Pools: Lillystone, Hampson (Garside 61), Stuart, A Smith, Stabler, Duffy-Smith, Rowbotham (Henry 75), Ingram (Portas 71), Robinson, Pye (Hammond-Garrington 68), Hanratty.
Sub not used: R Smith.