Southampton Women claimed a comprehensive 8-0 victory over Eastleigh in the Hampshire FA Cup, securing their place in the next round of the competition.
It took just four minutes for Saints to go in front at Snows Stadium as Sophia Pharoah launched an unstoppable strike into the top corner.
Saints continued to display their dominance throughout the first-half with Pharoah securing a brace, as well as Caitlin Morris and Ciara Watling adding to the tally to make it 4-0 heading into the break.
Ella Pusey enjoyed the first real goalscoring opportunity of the second-half, predictably netting from the opportunity before Watling secured a brace.
Introduced in the 58th minute, Emilie Castagna put on an impressive display as she scored two goals to make it a total of eight against the Spitfires.
Pharoah’s strike was the perfect start for Saints as they look to make it to the final of the Hampshire FA Cup in consecutive years.
There was a continual attacking presence from Marieanne Spacey-Cale's side, who had many attempts on goal before Caitlin Morris added a second after 15 minutes.
It was a fabulously worked corner from Alisha Ware who cut it short to Bedwell, before cutting it back to Ware to launch the ball into the box to find the head of Morris.
The chances kept on coming for the home side as they maintained a strong presence in the Eastleigh box. One effort deflected off the back of Ella Pusey, with Watling seeking to score off the rebound but she failed to get the shot under control as it went over the crossbar.
Despite a dominant performance from Saints, there were periods of resolute defending from the Spitfires. Goalkeeper Lucy Venables making an impressive block to a low drive as Saints searched for further goals.
Eastleigh almost saw an opportunity through a Kau’Inohea Taylor charge but some superbly applied pressure from Charley Evans ensured the ball was cleared and Saints swiftly hit the counterattack through Sky Bedwell.
Saints’ next goal also came from a corner as Pharoah secured her brace from Bedwell’s delivery.
Always searching for more, Saints continued to challenge the Eastleigh defence, with Katie Rood the next to fire a powerful ball into the centre of the box but it was a little too much for Pharoah to get it under control.
Eager to find a fourth before the break, Rood made a fantastic solo run down the pitch and into the box. Her shot fired over the bar, but it was an impressive spell from the New Zealander.
Maintaining constant pressure in the box, Watling secured Saints’ fourth of the evening.
Despite Saints’ encouraging lead heading into the break there were periods of strong, resolute defending from the visitors.
Emerging from the break, Saints continued to look impressive in front of goal, with Eastleigh struggling to find a way through a seemingly rock-solid Saints defence.
Saints’ first shot on goal in the second-half also resulted in the fifth goal of the fixture, with Ella Pusey finding space and releasing a low shot into the bottom corner.
Saints’ sixth goal of the evening was a fantastically worked team goal as Ella Morris found captain Lucia Kendall. Venables produced another quality save for the visitors but Watling was there on the rebound to claim Saints’ sixth and her second goal of the evening.
Shortly after, Kendall herself had an opportunity to get on the scoresheet as she fired a low drive towards Venables.
It wasn’t long before Saints netted for a seventh time, a delightful run from Rood was followed by an inch-perfect cross into Castagne at the far post, whose thumping header safely found the back of the net.
Castagne soon added to her tally as she outmanoeuvred Venables to tap in the ball from close range. Just moments later, Venables denied Castagne a hat-trick with a fabulous block.
There was some valiant defending on display from the visitors as the match drew to a close, denying Saints multiple times as they looked to add to an already impressive tally.
Rood tried her luck in front of goal once more in the 89th minute but was denied by a fantastic outstretched leg from Venables.
A superb performance from Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side, who now progress to face Bournemouth in the next round of the competition.
Saints are back in action on Sunday as they travel to Westleigh Park for the first instalment of a double-header with Portsmouth.