Peterborough Noirthern Star Ladies cruised into the first round proper of the Women’s FA Cup yesterday (November 8) when thrashing Hemel Hempstead Town 8-0.
Determined not to come a cropper against lower league opponents, Star were on the attack from the first whistle and almost took the lead inside the first minute as Rachael Mumford broke clear and lofted the ball over the keeper but only into the side-netting.
Four minutes later a long goal-kick saw Vicky Gallagher one-on-one with the visitors’ keeper, who made a vital block to prevent the home side from opening the scoring.
The Hemel defence was eventually breached after 14 minutes when a sliced goal-kick fell to Cassie Steward who smashed in the opener from 35 yards.
Gallagher doubled Star’s lead moments later as she curled her effort over the Hemel defence into the top corner.
On the half hour mark Star added a third when ood work down the right flank from Mumford created the opportunity for Gallagher to re-direct the cross into the net.
Steward found herself behind the defence once again and supplied a delicate finish to make it 4-0 at the break.
Star added to their tally 15 minutes into the second half through substitute Georgia Coulson after a lovely through-ball by Jodie Bartle and Coulson scored her second of the match a minute later when she followed up a Steward shotand prodded home the rebound.
Star were then awarded a penalty for deliberate handball. They had three players who were on for a hat-trick but it was Gallagher who pulled rank and picked the ball up and coolly slotted it home for her second hat-trick in successive games.
Star completed the scoring just before the end through Sofia Aragosa, who scored the best goal of the match and a contender for goal of the season. Aragosa smashed home a half volley into the net off the underside of the cross bar onto the inside of the post and into the back of the net on the opposite side of the goal from fully 30 yards.
Star are now unbeaten in their last five matches, having kept three clean sheets in the process (goals 24, conceded 2).
The draw for the first round proper will be made later today.
Star’s next match is away to Peterborough United Ladies in the Northants County Cup on Sunday (November 15).
Star boss Steve Iredale was surprisingly critical of some of his side’s play despite the emphatic scoreline.
He said: “In my opinion we played better in the previous two league games where the opposition was of a higher quality. At times today we were a little bit sloppy in certain areas of the pitch but to give the ladies credit, they admitted as much after the game.
“However, a five-match unbeaten run is nice for the confidence of the team and it was good to be able to give a couple of the younger players some game time. They’ve have been patient while waiting for a chance to show what they can do.
“Rachel Mumford deserved a goal for her efforts in the first half and Georgia Coulson showed that she can put chances away when given the opportunity.”