Chorley FC Women remain unbeaten in all three knockout competitions this season after hammering AFC Darwen Ladies 5-0 in the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup.
Beth Donoghue’s hat-trick – the last of which was a belter – paved the way for the home side to make progress.
The game was part of the ‘Weekend Of Women’s Football’ and Chorley certainly put on a show in chilly conditions at Victory Park.
Right from the first whistle the Magpies looked to attack and within 10 minutes they had tested the visitors’ keeper several times, and Grace Vella and Donoghue both having attempts cleared off the line.
The breakthrough came in the 14th minute when a cross from Rebecca Kemp on the right wing was forced home by Donoghue.
Chorley went looking for more, but Darwen were soaking up the pressure – their keeper pulled a fingertip save out the bag to keep it at 1-0.
The home side was almost trying too hard in their search for a second, but with so much possession in the away side’s final third it was only a matter of time before it came.
Sophie Rotheram rounded the keeper and her goal-bound shot was brilliantly saved by a sliding defender, but they could do nothing to stop Rotheram scoring from the resulting corner.
AFC Darwen did look dangerous on the counter, but playing against a Magpies side in this mood they were always going to have to make their chances count and during the first 45 minutes they could not quite unlock Chorley’s pressing defence.
After the break, the home side’s third goal came from a generous penalty after Abi Fenton was brought down just inside the box.
Striker Donoghue made no mistake from the spot (left) to give Chorley a three-goal lead.
If her first goal had been a scrappy affair, and her second a penalty, Donoghue completed her hat-trick just four minutes later with the best of the bunch – a top-corner belter from the left of the area.
Lisa Topping managed to get the fifth goal for Chorley after 66 minutes.
Whilst the game was over as a competition and the coach was able to make three substitutions without fear of losing momentum, the away side were still making it hard for Chorley, who were unable to add to their tally in the final 20 minutes.
The Magpies’ next home game is against Durham Cestria in the FAWNL Cup on Sunday, November 24.