Peterborough Northern Star cruised into the first round of the Women’s FA Cup yesterday (October 11) by winning 7-0 at Hampton & Richmond Borough.
The FA Women’s Premier League Midlands Division One club were three goals up in 12 minutes and five ahead inside half-an-hour against their Greater London League Division One opponents.
The home side rallied bravely for the last hour and created some decent chances of their own but the three-division gap between the sides was evident in an impressive and professional display by the visitors.
Clinical work from the Star forwards rocked the Beavers from the off. A 20-yard strike from Cassie Steward, a sharp finish from Vicky Gallagher from a Katie Steward cross, then a Katie Steward shot from Gallagher’s cross had the visitors three to the good.
Hampton keeper Paige Hornsell made the first of a series of fine saves on 16 minutes but was beaten again by Gallagher on 23 minutes with Katie Steward again the provider from the right wing.
Hornsell denied the same player at point-blank range on 23 minutes but Gallagher completed her quickfire hat-trick on 27 minutes from another right wing cross.
Hampton finally managed to get some forward momentum going. Bianca Underhill was finding some space on the right and Katie Foster started to threaten with her powerful runs into the area.
Right on the break, Star keeper Sarah Hudson made a superb stop low to her right to prevent Foster reducing the deficit from a powerful low shot from 10 yards and Hampton could go into the break with a little encouragement.
The hosts had the first effort after the break but were unlucky to concede a sixth when a disputed corner was converted by Sam Iredale with a fine volley after a good initial save by Hornsell from a header.
Hampton were now winning far more challenges and defending with real grit to limit their opponents but were still grateful to Hornsell for brave blocks in one-on-one situations with Katie Steward and sub Laura Dawson.
Eventually Katie Steward, who was outstanding throughout along with Gallagher, provided an excellent finish to notch her second of the day to go with her pair of assists.
Hampton battled fearlessly right to the end and had given a good display after having been overwhelmed at the start.
Star manager Steve Iredale said: “Today could have been a bit of a banana skin for us, but we were up for it right from the start. Obviously three goals in the first 12 minutes put us in control but we kept up the pressure.
“A clean sheet after conceding 16 goals in our last three games was just as important a boost to confidence and hopefully on Sunday we can continue the winning run in the county cup match against Raunds.”
Star’s reward for the FA Cup win is a home tie against Hemel Hempstead Ladies on Sunday November 8.
Peterborough Northern Star: Sarah Hudson, Jodie Bartle, Sam Iredale, Stef Pepper, Larissa Frederick, Jess Farchica, Abbey Young, Vicky Gallagher, Cassie Steward, Katie Steward, Chanade Henderson. Subs: Rachel Mumford, Laura Dawson, Aoife Bromley, Leah Barnes.