Sixteen-year-old Ruby Grant scored a stunning hat-trick on Sunday as we ran out 4-0 winners over Crawley Wasps in the fourth round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup.
Hannah Dawbarn, Janni Arnth, Melissa Filis, Katrine Veje and Grant all made their full debuts in the competition, while Joe Montemurro returned to the touchline after suffering from illness.
We dominated possession against the fourth-tier side during the opening exchanges - and in the 17th minute Kim Little opened the scoring.
Our captain received the ball inside the box, dribbled past two defenders and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
Shortly after Melissa Filis’ long range strike was pushed away by Frankie Gibbs, before Ava Kuyken’s goalbound effort was cleared by the Crawley defence.
The hosts looked to frustrate us with their organised defending, providing us with little space to operate, but on the stroke of half-time Grant doubled our advantage.
Veje made a driving run down the left wing and picked out Grant, who cut the ball back on to her left foot and fired into the roof of the net.
Following the break, Danielle Van de Donk’s audacious volley sailed just over the crossbar, before Veje and Amelia Hazard fired wide from the edge of the box.
Chance after chance went begging, but in the final 15 minutes, Grant twice popped up with the finishing touch to secure her hat-trick.
First, a low drive on the turn following an inch-perfect pass from Kuyken. The second, a first-time finish from inside the box, thanks to some fine wide play from Veje down the left.
WHAT IT MEANS
The draw for the fifth round of the competition will take place on Monday at 6:30pm (UK time).
Our next game is against Manchester United in the FA WSL Continental Cup on Thursday, February 7.
The game will take place at Meadow Park with kick-off at 7.30pm (UK time).
Our next outing in the FA Cup will take place on Sunday, February 17.
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