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SSFC Women score seven against Redcar

South Shields Women struck seventh heaven on Sunday as they brushed Redcar Town Ladies aside with a 7-0 thrashing at Ford Hub. 

Annece Legg stole the show with her first hat-trick for the team, while Eve Gatens, Jaz Elliot-Wood and new arrival Sophie Curle scored as well.

The Mariners’ divisional-best goal difference has been stretched even further which can only be good news for Matt Gatiss’ side if they need to rely on that virtue as the season draws closer to its close.

Curle was one of two fresh names from the side which lost to Wakefield a fortnight ago, with Monica Innes being the other, as the pair started ahead of Sophie Greener and Jen Wootten.

And from the off Shields threatened: within a minute Elliott-Wood launched a trademark free-kick at Redcar’s Sally-Anne Thompson but she caught it with ease.

Just moments later player-of-the-match Legg struck from just outside the box which forced Thompson into a dropping save.

Five minutes hadn’t even gone before Curle scored her first goal in claret and blue - Becki McMahon’s reaching throw-in found Gatens via Legg, who aimed a first-time hit at an unmarked Curle and gave the Mariners a fully deserved lead.

Elliott-Wood surged up the field and a quick one-two between herself and Legg ended with a great opportunity to potentially add a second. She tussled past Megan Day before she struck from an awkward angle and Thompson was able to gather it fairly comfortably.

Nevertheless, she netted Shields’ second but before that, the Mariners tested the Redcar backline time and time again. Legg carried the ball from the half-way line up to the edge of the box before she tried a low ball which narrowly glanced past the post.

Gatens guided her swooping cross with skill and it met Elliott-Wood whose touch was just heavy enough to prevent Thompson from getting a hand to it.

Two quickly became three when Zoe Norton outfought Heather Power and cut open the rest of their team to find Legg one-on-one in the box. She managed, after a quick scuffle with the keeper, to hit it into an empty net.

Gatens and Curle combined nicely on the right-hand side to, once again, find Legg open as she fired in her second of the afternoon.

Before half-time it was five and what a masterpiece of a goal it was from Gatens. She took on countless blue and white shirts out wide and cut inside, before her shot curled in majestically. 

After the break it was more of the same for Shields as they found their sixth and seventh of the afternoon. The highlight was Legg getting her hat-trick, and Curle for getting her second goal in a Mariners shirt.

McMahon played it into Curle who laid it off to Legg in the box, and just like her second she took two tries and nailed the second delivery. 

Josie Foster’s cross then found Curle whose header rocketed above and beyond Thompson.

It was a special performance for Shields who might look back at today as being one of the season’s defining moments if things continue to go their way in the next 10 matches.

Up next is Bradford City Women at home, where the team will look to make up for the heartbreaking stoppage-time equaliser at Horsfall Stadium. More details will be shared closer to matchday. 

South Shields Women: Gowans, Ali, Innes, May, Legg, Gatens, Curle, McMahon, Norton, Elliott-Wood, Foster.

Substitutes: Greener, Wootten, Emery, Taylor, White. 

Redcar Town Ladies: Thompson, Atkinson, Hill, Hunter, Kelly, Hill, Power, Housam, Wilkinson, Day, Appleyard. 

Substitutes: Fraser, Coleman, Lowe. 

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