Caitlin Bates fired a hat-trick as Hartlepool United Ladies thrashed Wakefield Ladies 10-0 to move third in the North East Regional Women’s League Premier Division.
The 21-year-old forward was in devastating form as Chris Murphy’s team secured their third successive win at Brierton on Sunday to close the gap on Norton & Stockton and Durham Cestria at the top of the table.
“It was an excellent performance from start to finish,” said Murphy.
“We produced some great passages of play to open up the Wakefield defence time and again, but on the rare occasion they attacked us, our midfield and defensive units did their jobs fantastically well.
“The girls look really confident at the moment and you can see they’re enjoying their football so we have to take that in to another big game at Wallsend next weekend.”
Pools opened the scoring with just five minutes on the clock.
A fantastic clipped through ball from Nicky Duckling fell perfectly in to the run of Bates on the left side of the area and she applied a clinical finish on the volley to leave the keeper with no chance.
Bates then turned provider when she cleverly jinked in to space on the right of the box before picking out Lottie Portas in the centre and she expertly guided the ball in to the net to double the lead.
Duckling and Jess Dawson were both causing problems for the visiting defence and it was the latter who grabbed the third goal on 26 minutes when she was set away on goal and finished confidently.
The Wakefield keeper was caught off her line and Pye produced an outstanding lobbed effort from fully 30 yards to make it 4-0 in spectacular fashion.
Pools grabbed a fifth before the break when Duckling combined well with Bates to tuck the ball past the keeper.
Murphy was able to ring the changes during the interval but Pools’ hunger to score goals remained; Hannah Lambert ran forward to set-up fellow substitute Lucy Garrington to make it 6-0 with the second half less than a minute old.
Two minutes later it was 7-0 when the impressive Dawson escaped down the left to fire a cross in to the far post where Lambert tucked the ball home.
Just before the hour mark Dawson produced another incisive run down the wing and sent a testing ball in to the middle where skipper Justine Robinson was able to apply the finishing touch.
Bates then skipped clear of the Wakefield defence and calmly fired the ball past the keeper on 80 minutes.
She completed her hat-trick on 85 minutes when she beat the offside trip to round the keeper and roll the ball home in to an empty net for 10-0.
Pools: Leighton, Bartlett, Robinson, Stuart, Garside, Rowbotham, Basnett, Portas, Bates, Duckling, Dawson.
Subs: Hurrell, Ingram, Garrington, Pye, Lambert.