Worthing Women earned a place in the first qualifying round of The Women’s FA Cup on Sunday, as they scored eight goals on their way to an emphatic victory over Steyning Town in the Preliminary round.
A double from Gemma Worsfold, along with strikes from Sam Mee, Tammy Waine, Caroline Hodgson, Sara Tubby, Alice Walford and Hannah Hewlett saw The Reds make it 18 goals from their first two games as the cruised into the next round.
The away side took the lead with the first real chance of the game on 10-minutes, when Sophie Humphrey drew a foul from home keeper Rebecca Smallman inside the penalty area. Mee stepped up to confidently dispatch her spot kick to give Michelle Lawrence’s side the perfect start to proceedings.
Keavy Price thought she had doubled her sides lead on 20-minutes, however her close range driven effort from a corner was somehow deflected over the Steyning bar to safety. Sophie Humphrey also thought she had added to her sides total three-minutes later, however her clever lobbed effort was ruled out for offside.
Worthing did eventually find the second goal that their pressure warranted on the half hour mark, when Worsfold clinically dispatched a powerful driven effort into the back of the net from a quickly taken corner.
Steyning striker Amy Clark created her sides first real opening five-minutes before the break, when her curling effort fizzed narrowly wide of the Worthing goal, much to the relief of visiting keeper Lucy Apps.
Waine made it 3-0 to the away side on 38-minutes, when she lifted the ball over the onrushing Smallman from close range following a great delivery from the left, as Worthing began to assert their authority on proceedings.
Despite failing to create many clear cut chances, the away side did manage to pull a goal back on the stroke of half time when Clark sent a spectacular dipping effort over the head of Apps from range to give her side a glimmer of hope at half-time.
Manager Lawrence ran the changes at the start of the second half, with Tubby, Hodgson and Sara Hinton deputising for Humphrey, Beth Kincaid and Tegan Andrade-Paris to give Worthing fresh legs.
The second half began at a tepid pace, with both sides cancelling each other out to begin with. The home side came close to reducing the deficit further on 58-minutes from a free kick, however defender Lou Creasy was unable to keep her speculative effort down.
Hodgson made it four on 65-minutes, when she outpaced her marker to latch on to a clever through ball from Hinton and fire across Smallman into the far corner. Worthing’s fifth came just three-minutes later, when Tubby cleverly flicked a smart effort into the net from close range following a great run and find from Worsfold as Steyning began to tire.
Following that fifth goal, full back Sophie Grimson and goalscorer Waine were replaced by Walford and Rebecca Thompson-Agbro as Lawrence reshuffled her formation going into the final quarter of the game.
The visitors added their sixth goal on 77-minutes, when Worsfold calmly finished low into the net after being played through by another fine ball from the Worthing backline. The seventh followed on 80-minutes, when substitute Walford capitalised on nervous Steyning defending to confidently side foot home a half volley past a helpless Smallman.
Captain Hewlett rounded off the scoring deep into injury time when she powered in a well taken header from a Worthing set piece to make it eight on the day for The Reds.
That was the final action of another near perfect performance from Worthing against a good side full of quality. The Reds can now look forward to the first qualifying round draw as their cup journey continues.
After the game, Captain and goal scorer Hannah Hewlett was delighted with how Worthing responded after a tough start to the game. She said “We started quite slow and they frustrated us, but we persevered and thankfully we were able to turn our fortunes around. We know there will be games where we have to grind out results, so it’s important that we move forward and make sure we are just as clinical as we were today if we want to continue this good run that we’re on”.
Manager Michelle Lawrence was also impressed with her sides resolve against opposition who provided a stern test. She said “We didn’t play with any real fluidity in the opening half and stuttered into the lead. At half time, we spoke about what needed to change and I was happy with how the players implemented the changes. Cup games give you no second chances, so winning was paramount and I’m delighted to be in the hat for Monday’s draw”.
The Reds resume league action next weekend when they visit Herne Bay at Winch’s Field on Sunday 27th September for a 2:30pm kick off.