Ladies inspired by McCrea-tivity

West Ham United Ladies got back to winning ways as Sarah McCrea's hat-trick helped the Hammers to an emphatic 5-2 win over Plymouth Argyle.

Having slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Copsewood Coventry last week, the Hammers bounced back in style at Mill Field. The success took West Ham to fourth in the FA Women's Premier League Southern Division table, having won three of their opening five games.

West Ham looked threatening from start to finish as their first chance on goal came just three minutes in, when Vicky Kinsman fired a 25-yard shot into goalkeeper Michaela Phillips' arms.

In a free-flowing match, the visitors hit back as Mollie Taylor latched onto a short backpass by Dancia Revell and her shot was cleared off the line.

Plymouth's early miss served as a wake-up call for Julian Dicks' team, who responded well, stepping up the tempo. Kinsman opened the scoring in the 20th minute by stabbing in from close-range after good work from McCrea and Emma Sherwood. However, the lead was short-lived as minutes later Argyle's Ellie Dorey equalised through a spectacular effort from 20 yards out.

The Hammers took the lead once more seven minutes later as captain Stacey Little headed in at the back post from McCrea's corner.

McCrea then extended the advantage in the 36th minute. Argyle 'keeper Phillips failed to deal with Kelley Blanchflower's cross, allowing McCrea to finish with a fierce half volley. West Ham took their 3-1 lead into the half-time interval.

It took Dicks' side just two minutes of the second half to continue the rout as McCrea scored her second of the game. With Philips off her line, McCrea curled a wonderful shot around the visiting goalkeeper as she tried to scramble back. At 4-1 up, the Hammers were in control.

With ten minutes left McCrea capped off her woman-of-the-match performance by completing her outstanding hat-trick as she timed her run to perfection, latching onto an inch-perfect through-ball from midfield before rounding Phillips and tapping home.

There was still time for Argyle to score a consolation goal as Mollie Taylor kept her composure to finish calmly, but it was too little too late for the Pilgirms.

The Ladies will hope to maintain their form when they host second-place Portsmouth at Mill Field, Aveley FC, in a 1pm kick-off.

Ladies: Runnacles, King, Bottom, Little, Revell, McCrea, Bowers (Mellors 84), Lipley-Hinton (Donohoe 60), Blanchflower, Sherwood (Locke 72), Kinsman