Southampton FC Women began their FA National League campaign in style on Sunday afternoon, registering a 5-2 away win over Chesham.
Midfielder Shannon Sievwright was on the scoresheet twice, netting the pick of the goals, while Ella Pusey and Shannon Albuery, on her Saints debut, were also on target.
Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side rode their luck at times throughout the 90 minutes, but thoroughly deserved the victory, which was made completely safe in the dying stages when Paula Lambert turned into her own net.
Saints took the lead in the 11th minute from a breakaway, as Georgie Freeland escaped down the right, played the ball square towards Pusey, who dummied and allowed Sievwright to complete the move.
The captain took one touch to settle herself, before finding the far corner with a well-taken finish.
Pusey herself netted the visitors’ second, which was again crafted down the right hand side. The away side were controlling proceedings, and gaining plenty of joy from wide positions, allowing Freeland the license to roam freely.
Released by Kirsty Whitton, she rolled the ball towards forward Pusey who found the net with a first-time finish in the 19th minute.
But Saints didn’t have it all their way in the first 45. The hosts enjoyed a productive five minute spell towards the end of the half, and having found a route back into the tie via Becky Bloor, drew themselves level via the penalty spot moments later.
The ball was smashed against the hand of defender Caitlin Morris from a close distance - who felt rightly aggrieved by the injustice - which resulted in the award of a spot-kick.
Kat Bowers stepped up to slam home from 12-yards, restoring parity shortly before the break.
Fairness was re-established in the second period, though, when Chesham were awarded yet another chance from the spot. Gemma Fraser went down under pressure, but Bowers’s second penalty attempt clattered off the crossbar.
It was then Saints’ turn to reclaim ascendancy. Sievright, not usually among the goals, found the net for the second time just after the hour mark, with a strike that eclipsed her first.
She bent the ball out of reach of Chesham keeper Lucia Delves and into the far side corner, before substitute Albuery guaranteed all three points with a goal on her first appearance for the club, 14 minutes from time.