Peterborough Northern Star Ladies booked their place in the semi-finals of the Northants County Cup yesterday (January 31) by brushing aside lower level opponents Rothwell Corinthians 11-0.
Vicky Gallagher and Cassie Steward both grabbed hat-tricks as the FA Women’s Premier League side comfortably beat their East Midlands Division One South opponents.
After two failed attempts to get the match on and playing only their second game of 2016, Star started very sluggishly and the underdogs had two early chances to catch them on the back foot. But Samara Iredale and Jodie Bartle blocked both Rothwell efforts on target.
It could have proved embarrassing for the higher league city team but nerves were settled when they opened the scoring through Gallagher as she pounced on confusion at the back after a quarter-of-an-hour.
Steward nearly doubled the scoring but her effort was diverted onto the bar.
From the resulting corner Rothwell failed to clear and Sofia Aragosa arrived late to double the advantage just after half-an-hour.
Star hit the bar for a second time as Rachael Mumford clipped the ball onto the crossbar. However, three minutes later a Gallagher grabbed her second after good work down the right-hand side by Mumford.
Just before the break Stephanie Pepper ghosted in at the back post to strike the ball into the top corner after a good pull-back from Mumford.
Star didn’t waste any time extending their lead after the break. In fact after just 40 seconds, Steward opened her account for the afternoon by lobbing the keeper from 30 yards.
Gallagher then completed her hat-trick by rounding the right back and slotting home Star’s sixth.
An hour into the tie, Steward looped the ball over the keeper for the second time in the match to notch her second of the game.
Gallagher then turned provider as Iredale latched onto her cross to head powerfully home at the back post.
Chanade Henderson made it 9-0 as she poked home the perfect cross from substitute Katie Steward.
With 15 minutes remaining, skipper Bartle got on the scoresheet by cutting inside from the left and firing the ball in off of the post.
Cassie Steward completed the scoring for her second hat-trick of the season with a composed finish into the far corner with the outside of her right foot.
Star will next meet Northampton Town away on February 21.
Afterwards Star boss Steve Iredale said: “We nearly made it more difficult for ourselves with a bit of a lacklustre start and had it been a league game then I’m sure we would have found ourselves behind.
“However, once we’ed got going then we played some good football, concentrating on what we need to be taking into out league games.
“Historically we’re always better in the the second half of the season so we need to be ensuring that we buckle down and show that our league position is not a true reflection of the quality of this side.”
Star: Hudson, Bartle, Pepper, Iredale, Farchica, Barnes, Aragosa, Mumford, Gallagher, C. Steward, Henderson. Subs: Young, K. Steward.