In front of a record attendance, Southampton FC Women cruised into round three of the Hampshire Cup with a thumping 7-1 win over AFC Bournemouth on Sunday.
Backed by 832 at AFC Totton’s Snows Stadium, the bumper crowd were treated to the first goal of the game inside the opening ten minutes when Sophia Pharoah put the Saints ahead.
Dominating possession, the scoreline soon reflected the hosts’ grip on proceedings as Rachel Panting doubled the lead before the break.
With chances raining down on goal, the third came in the opening exchanges of the second half when Shannon Albuery got in on the act, prior to AFC Bournemouth reducing the arrears with a fortuitous effort.
Restoring the three-goal lead, Panting converted her second of the afternoon before Shannon Sievwright continued the assault on goal with a stunning brace, with the scoring concluded by Caitlin Morris to seal the hosts' cup advancement.
Thriving on the sense of occasion in Totton, Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side showed no sign of surrendering their 13-match unbeaten run, taking control from the first whistle.
In the opening exchanges, Kelly Fripp lashed just wide of the post after a corner pinballed around the box, as Saints weren’t afraid to commit numbers forward.
Moment later after tempting visiting goalkeeper Steph Small from her line, Albuery had the chance to shoot at the undefended goal, only for some last-ditch defending to deflect her effort wide of the target.
As the sun beat down on the Snows Stadium the sense of an opening goal grew, and it came in the ninth minute as the hosts’ pressure finally told.
Only half clearing their lines following a hanging Ella Morris cross, Pharoah was on hand 12 yards from goal to emphatically drill into the back of the net.
With both full-backs entrenching themselves in the Cherries half, it was no surprise to see Southampton’s second come from out wide.
This time the delivery came from Alisha Ware on the left, with Panting producing a stunning volleyed finish past a hapless Small just 10 minutes after the opener.
Matching their monopoly on possession with the scoreline there was little resistance from their Dorset opponents, who only had two tame Rebecca Miller efforts to show for their attacking endeavours.
At the other end, the chances continued to flow as Pharoah headed over from yet another Ella Morris cross, before Albuery looped a shot just wide after bursting into the box.
As the break approached, Saints looked to put the game beyond Bournemouth, but Morris’s low cross – that was begging to be tapped in – narrowly evaded Phoebe Williams in the middle as the score stayed the same going into the interval.
With a sense of inevitability surrounding a third, it took just two minutes after the restart to all but confirm a spot in round three.
When a corner whipped into the near post could only be spilled by Small, Panting was on hand to sweep across goal for Albuery to tap in from a matter of yards.
Leaving the Cherries to need a slice of luck to get back into the tie, they were handed a lifeline before the hour-mark.
Kingshott’s speculative effort from range looked like being a routine save, but a wicked deflection off of Fripp wrong-footed Sara Luce and saw the ball squirm into the back of the net.
Keen to avoid a spirited fightback, Spacey-Cale’s side were immediately back on the offensive and on 57 minutes, added a fourth.
More strong running from Ella Morris saw the right-back race into the box, showing a selfless touch to square for Panting who was lurking in the middle.
Now carving the Cherries open seemingly at will, the scoreline became emphatic thanks to a quick-fire double from captain Sievwright.
First looping a dipping effort up and over Small from 20 yards, the Saints number 10 then scored the goal of the game as she picked out the top corner with a first-time left-footed shot from the same distance.
Now on the scoresheet, Sievwright then turned provider; swinging in a teasing delivery from a corner, Caitlin Morris was on hand to emphatically head home and round off a day to remember.