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West Ham Utd 0 Blackburn Rovers 7
Blackburn Rovers cruised into the Fourth Round of the SSE Women's FA Cup with seven unanswered goals against hosts West Ham United at AFC Hornchurch.
In a dynamic display from the FAWPL Northern Division team, Lynda Shepherd's hat-trick was the headline performance but, in truth, there were several top quality individual displays for the visitors.
Nothing in the first ten minutes had given any indication of the eventual outcome, both sides moving the ball neatly. Ainsley Strickland had the first attempt on goal, well saved by Lauren Picton on 12 minutes.
A Jess Holbrook corner headed unchallenged against the bar by Saffron Jordan was a warning sign but the opener was from a free kick. A lofted ball to the far edge of the area was met on the run by Sophie Jones whose 20-yard header looped over Picton on 18 minutes.
The second on 23 minutes came from a poorly cleared corner guided home by Jordan from close range. The third came from another teasing Holbrook corner met by Shepherd close in for another headed goal on 27 minutes.
West Ham were stung into response, sub Shirvae Edwards adding to their attacking options. Danielle Hill was quick off her line to save from a through ball, then Romina Pinna had a good run and powerful shot wide of goal on 37 minutes.
The fourth Rovers goal, seconds before the break, was a real stunner. Another corner from the left appeared to be well cleared by skipper Katie Bottom but the dropping ball was volleyed home from 20 yards by Jordan.
Hill was down well to turn an Edwards 20-yarder past the post as West Ham resumed positively but Shepherd took the winds from their sails with a powerfully struck first time effort from 25 yards which flew in via the angle of post and bar on 55 minutes.
From then on, Blackburn created several very good chances to inflict further damage, Jordan in particular twice firing over Picton's bar from close in. Shepherd duly completed her hat-trick when again outjumping the defenders to meet a lofted free kick to the far post on 82 minutes.
West Ham's misery was complete when lively substitute Ali Johnson broke free on the left and lofted a chipped effort over Picton for the seventh with five minutes to go.
West Ham kept trying for a consolation but had been well beaten by the greater power and experience in the opposition ranks and by some spectacular finishing in a most impressive performance by Blackburn.
West Ham Utd: Lauren Picton, Gemma Abela, Erica Campesi, Danni Ritson, Romina Pinna, Hannah Wheeler, Cindy Ferreira, Katie Bottom, Olivia Sammons, Whitney Locke, Rosie Missen. Subs: Sasha Kelly, Kelsey Smith, Chelsea Hinz, Paige Bradley, Shirvae Edwards.
Blackburn Rovers: Danielle Hill, Alex Taylor, Cara Bickett, Rosie Kinvig, Sophie Jones, Saffron Jordan, Ainsley Strickland, Amie Fleming, Jess Holbrook, Ellie Cook, Lynda Shepherd. Subs: Katie Maher, Sophie Flynn, Ali Johnson, Natasha Fenton, Leah Foster.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Alex Taylor battles for the ball with Whitney Locke
(middle) Erika Campesi fires in a shot between Alex Taylor and Danielle Hill
(bottom) Saffron Jordan takes on Katie Bottom
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