Pools Women’s Team got their new seaosn off to the perfect start on Sunday when they thumped Carlisle United 11-1 in the preliminary round of the Women’s FA Cup.
Jonathan Gibbon-Hayes’ side went in to the game as favourites given they play their football a division higher than their Cumbrian rivals and they made their extra quality pay with a dominant performance.
Pools began on the front foot, with Caitlin Bates and Justine Robinson causing all sorts of problems for the home side’s defence in the opening stages.
Their bright start looked like paying off on ten minutes when Bates danced through the Carlisle defence before being brought down in the area but Emily Stuart’s penalty came back off the post.
However, eight minutes later Pools did have the lead. A brilliant cross from Bates on the left found Robyn Ingram in the middle and she controlled perfectly before finishing well from the edge of the box.
Carlisle almost got back on level terms a couple of minutes later when a sloppy backpass was heading in to the top corner only for goalkeeper Becks Lillystone to mark her debut with a stunning save.
It was 2-0 just before the half-hour mark when some great build-up play involving Sarah Rowbotham, Laura Wilson and Ingram released Robinson to fire home her first of the campaign.
Shortly afterwards Pools were awarded a second penalty but their bad luck from the spot continued as this time Bates shot uncharacteristically over the bar.
Bates atoned for that miss moments later though when she did add her name to the scoresheet, finding a yard of space just inside the area to lash in a third goal for Pools.
It was 4-0 just before half-time when Robinson outmuscled the Carlisle defender before ramming an unstoppable shot in to the top corner.
Carlisle managed to pull a goal back seven minutes after the restart when a cross flew direct in to the net but that only served to anger Pools who made it 5-1 almost immediately when Rowbotham freed Robyn Foster to score her first for the Club.
Robinson then raced through on goal to complete her hat-trick for 6-1 before substitute Jade Pye made an instant impact, setting up Bates for her second of the game and Pools’ seventh.
Skipper Robinson got in behind again on 68 minutes to unselfishly square the ball across for Bates to complete her hat-trick from close range.
Hannah Lambert came off the bench to score from the edge of the area to make it 9-1 and then Pye scored the goal which took it in to double figures on 83 minutes.
It was perhaps fitting that Robinson then had the final word when another slick passing move freed her through on goal and she converted her fourth to make it 11-1.
“It’s a fantastic start to the season for the girls,” Gibbon-Hayes admitted afterwards.
“It was really good to see the work we’ve done on the training ground come out in the game; I thought we were good defensively and out of possession, while the front six were dangerous.
“I particularly liked the way they interchanged positions and a massive positive is seeing our front three score eight goals between them because that will boost confidence.
“We won’t get carried away but we’ll enjoy the result, it’s a good start and now we need to go and back it up against York City in our first league game next weekend.”
The draw for the First Qualifying Round was made on Monday and Pools were handed an away tie against Yorkshire Amateur AFC on Sunday 22nd September (2pm kick-off).
Full Time: Carlisle United 1 Pools 11
Pools: Lillystone, Bartlett, Stuart, Smith, Stabler, Rowbotham, Ingram (Pye 65), Foster, Robinson, Wilson (Hanratty 55), Bates (Lambert 68).
Subs not used: Campbell, Hampson, Henry.
Images: Lisa Stabler