by Tom Pitchard
A HAT-TRICK of goals from Lucy McDonough gave the University of South Wales Women’s 1st an opening day victory over Southampton Solent Women’s 1st.
The hosts had the first chance of the game with three minutes played. A corner from Montana May was met by Maria Haringstad, who shot just over the crossbar.
USW took the lead four minutes later. Lucy McDonough was played in down the right side, she took a touch and calmly slotted into the bottom left corner.
Confusion in the Solent box saw the ball fall to Underwood, her shot was goal-bound but was denied by a good block on the line.
Kaseem Taylor’s side doubled their lead in the 37th minute, when May’s corner from the right was turned in at the far post by Dageenakis.
Two minutes before the interval, captain Ffion Llewellyn’s powerful strike from 30 yards out beat Demi Boom in the Solent goal to give the hosts a 3-0 lead.
The visitors went close to getting a goal back at the start of the second half. A precise through ball by Rosie Vina played in Emma McFarland, who’s out-stretched shot went narrowly wide.
Five minutes into the second period, Rosie Vina pulled a goal back for the away side; calmly chipping the ball over Meg Wordingham in the USW goal.
The number 11 scored her second goal five minutes later to reduce the deficit to one, firing into the bottom left corner.
Montana May gave her side a two-goal cushion just after the hour mark with a sensational free-kick from 25 yards out.
Lucy McDonough grabbed her second goal of the game two minutes later. The striker’s composed finish under the keeper restored USW’s three-goal advantage.
McDonough completed her hat-trick in the first minute of stoppage time. An incisive ball played the forward in, and she dinked over Boom to round off an impressive afternoon.
Speaking after the game, USW manager Kaseem Taylor praised his side’s effort: “We played the same blockbuster football as last season, we like to play expansive and that’s what we did today.”
Commenting on McDonough’s hat-trick, Taylor said: “It’s really good to see. It’s not just her though, we’ve got some really good match winners in the team.”
Star player – Lucy McDonough
The number nine turned in a performance of the highest quality. She showed her clinical touch in front of goal, and linked play very well. Her goals will be crucial in deciding how far USW go this season.
Following the game, Solent made a complaint about USW making one more substitute than permitted.
USW: 1. Meg Wordingham; 16. Natasha Costa; 18. Danny Dageenakis; 12. Nikol Jung; 20. Mel Wilkinson; 19. Ffion Llewellyn (c); 17. Chelsea Cochrane; 8. Maria Haringstad; 9. Lucy McDonough; 33. Karin Underwood; 14. Montana May.
Subs: Becky Phillips (GK); Lianne Everett; Aimee Smith; Ellie Burgess.
Solent: 1. Demi Boom; 2. Isabelle Field; 3. Jordan Goddard; 4. Emma McFarland; 5. Esther Lau-Mackaay; 6. Georgie Lowe; 7. Rebecca Cork; 8. Coral Oakley; 9. Aryana Cole; 10. Belinda Rodriquez; 11. Rosie Vina.
Subs: 12. Perri Driscoll; 13. Brooke Anne Keown.
7th minute – goal USW: Lucy McDonough
37th minute – goal USW: Danny Dageenakis
43rd minute – goal USW: Ffion Llewellyn
50th minute – goal Solent: Rosie Vina
55th minute – goal Solent: Rosie Vina
63rd minute – goal USW: Montana May
65th minute – goal USW: Lucy McDonough