Truro Ladies 1-6 West Ham United Ladies
Sam Pittuck scored five goals to help West Ham United to an emphatic win away to Truro which leaves them second in the FA Tesco Women's Premier League South.
Sam Pittuck scored a sensational hat-trick inside 27 minutes - two long-range efforts were complemented with a header - to put United three up early on. Just after half-time, Lyndsey Morgan scored the goal of the game with a fourth from distance before Pittuck added two more - a one-on-one with the keeper and a header. The home side scored a late consolation.
The ladies travelled to Cornwall for the Sunday afternoon contest with the intention of cementing their place in the top three of the league after some frustrating draws. After several solid defensive performances, the squad had been working hard in training on their performance in the final third of the pitch.
The extra preparation almost bore instant reward as Nat Grafton just failed to connect with a superb cross from Clare Rogers. United did not have to wait long to take a chance though as soon after Tracey Duxbury flicked the ball to Pittuck, who drove an unstoppable shot into the top right-hand corner.
Truro showed they were not going to roll over as straight from the restart they won a free-kick after Jade Dempster was alleged to have pushed a Truro striker. Paris Smith had to be alert to tip the resulting set-piece around the post.
The home side appeared to be motivated by the close call and immediately broke to the other end of the pitch. If the watching crowd thought that Pittuck's first was good, there was better still to come as the midfielder picked up the ball from an almost identical spot as the first and unleashed a 30-yard thunderbolt that cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar.
Pittuck completed a memorable hat-trick moments later as she chased a Dempster through-ball and just got to it before the onrushing keeper to head into the net.
United were dominant with the home side looking thoroughly shell-shocked, but worse was yet to come for them. Captain Morgan, who along with Rogers and Grafton had been so crucial to the great start, picked up a poor clearance from the Truro goalkeeper and duly returned it over her head and into the net from all of 40 yards, meaning her side went in 4-0 up at the break.
The second half began as the first had ended as this time Duxbury fed Pittuck, who rounded the keeper and then tapped into an empty net. The striker added a fifth just a few minutes later when she rose highest to power a header in at the far post.
Rosy Sullivan could have made it seven but blasted over from a few yards out and then Rogers fired straight at the keeper when well placed. Manager Tony Marshall then made a triple change, bringing on Julia Setford, Jay Blackie and Jo Wasahlo in place of impressive youngsters Zoe Marshall, Sullivan and the creative Rogers.
Truro were awarded a penalty when the referee blew for a handball against Dempster, even though it appeared she could do little to get out of the way of the ball. The spot-kick was converted and the visitors had their consolation.
Marshall was understandably delighted with his side's performance. He said: "The first 45 minutes were our best this season. We knew we were going to do this to someone as we have created so many chances in every game.
"The movement and pace we played at was really good to see. Everyone wanted the ball and the communication was excellent. Special mention must go to our two 16-year-olds Rosy [Sullivan] and Zoe [Marshall] who probably have never been in such a physical encounter but kept going and their superior technical ability really showed."
West Ham United: Paris Smith, Jess Barling, Jade Dempster, Rosy Sullivan (Jay Blackie), Zoe Marshall (Julia Setford), Lindsey Morgan, Sam Pittuck, Clare Rogers (Jo Wasahlo), Nat Grafton, Tracey Duxbury