It was a Sunday afternoon to remember for the London City Lionesses, as they put six past step five side Ashford Town.
Despite coming into the match after two weeks off, there were no signs of any sluggishness from the team, as straight away they began to assert their dominance over their lower league opposition.
Indeed, just 10 minutes into the match, London City showed their quality, when Rianna Jarrett got her foot on the end of a well struck ball over the top to power it past a helpless Ashford keeper.
However, it wasn’t going to be the easy day at the office the team had hoped for. A corner whipped in with speed evaded both home and away players, finding its way into the bottom corner.
The home side weren’t back in it for long though, with Wiktoria Fronc popping up to grab her first goal of the season, after a good effort from Brooke Nunn was spilled by the keeper.
After the break, City came out fighting, with it taking only five minutes for Nunn to get a well-deserved goal, slotting home first time from a well taken cross by Kenni Thompson.
Very soon, the substitutes started getting in on the action, with Annie Rossiter coming on to get her second goal of the season, after deftly weaving her way through the Ashford backline.
Next it was the turn of Mollie Rouse to get her name on the scoresheet, picking up the ball just on the edge of the area, taking a touch, then blasting it in to make it five.
The final goal of the game came after Karin Muya went through on goal, only to have her shot deflected in for an own goal.
Speaking after the final whistle had blown, manager Melissa Phillips was quick to emphasise the adaptability of the team during the match.
“We made some really good adjustments throughout the game. Obviously, it's difficult to prepare for games like these and I think credit to the team, they recognized things quite quickly at half-time and were able to make some good adjustments.
“I’m so proud of the group, and proud of all the players who got minutes who haven't seen the field as much this year.
“I think that's really important to bring players along and games like this. And the most important thing is that they're prepared and that they're ready for their role when their time comes.”
Speaking on the strength in depth in the squad, Phillips went onto add:
“You never know what's going to happen throughout the course of the season, never know what's going to happen throughout the course of the game, and players have to be ready when the moment is called for, and that's with an understanding of roles and responsibilities.
“But then also equally the ability to execute. And so yeah, it's a great team performance. We've got a lot of strength in the depth of the squad as I always say. So, one down and the next one's on Wednesday to prepare for.”
It has to be said though, the first half showed that, despite the difference in divisions, Ashford were not going to make it easy for the Lionesses.
“Obviously, anytime you play a team from the league above, it's the same with us when we draw the likes of Chelsea, you get up for the game, and we knew it they were going to be tough opposition,” remarked Phillips.
“They've done an exceptional job in their league this year, and also the pitch plays a little bit of a factor into it because it's tough to play on and just different conditions than what we're used to. However, I think it's just about being clinical with opportunities.”
Next up for the Lionesses, it's back to the Continental Cup, and back home to Princes Park, as they take on Birmingham City
“We're looking forward to the Conti Cup match up,” said Phillips, “anytime we play teams in the Super League it's an opportunity to stretch ourselves and we know Birmingham will bring a tough test for us.
But I think the theme from today is the ability of the players to problem-solve, recognize, and respond together, which will be vital heading into Wednesday's match.”
London City Lionesses take on Birmingham City on the 15th of December at 19:00 at Princes Park. Click here to buy your tickets now!