We advanced to the knockout stages of the FA Women’s Continental League Cup after a resounding victory over London Bees at Meadow Park.
Katie McCabe scored a hat-trick in the rout, and it was a memorable occasion for Jen Beattie too, as she made her 100th appearance for the club, although her night was cut short due to injury.
The visitors almost took the lead seconds into the match when Nikita Whinnett found space down the left and crossed towards Flo Gamby, but her powerful header was acrobatically saved by Pauline Peyraud-Magnin.
We immediately went on the offensive and were rewarded when Melisa Filis raced down the right channel before whipping a cross into McCabe, who made no mistake.
McCabe then scored her second goal of the match after Vivianne Miedema drove to the by-line and teed her up.
On the stroke of half-time, Miedema was the provider again when she squared the ball through a crowded penalty area and found Filis, who had created space to tap home from close range.
Minutes after the restart, our two half-time substitutes combined as Beth Mead crossed the ball from the edge of the box into Lisa Evans, whose looping header evaded Sarah Quantrill on its way in.
Mead then got herself on the scoresheet when she picked up the ball from outside the box, dribbled past two defenders, before cutting inside to fire a low effort into the bottom corner.
We then pulled further ahead as Evans turned provider when she delivered an inch-perfect cross into McCabe, who powered a header past Quantrill to secure the match ball.
With less than 15 minutes remaining of the match, Filis grabbed her brace when she rose high inside the box to direct a header into the far corner.
In the closing stages of the match, Filis took advantage of some poor defending at the back post to complete her hat-trick, before Evans raced through shortly after the restart to score our ninth.
WHAT IT MEANS
We progressed to the knockout stages of the competition after finishing top of Group B on 13 points, above Brighton & Hove Albion.
We next face Everton away from home on Sunday at 12.30pm (UK time)
By Sam Cox
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