South Shields Women stuck five past bottom-of-the-table Harrogate Town at 1st Cloud Arena, a result that gives the girls every chance of ending the season in second place.
The girls were back at 1st Cloud Arena for what can be described as a comfortable encounter, with the visitors not offering a lot of threat amid the backdrop of a temperate Sunday afternoon.
Sophie Greener opened the scoring for Shields in the 14th minute when she nodded in the ball from an Eve Gatens corner.
A string of Shields opportunities could have ended up in the back of Harrogate’s net, including efforts from Gabby Pedersen as well as Greener herself, which were unlucky not to have been scored.
And the lead was doubled in the 38th minute when Lily Walker brushed past a Harrogate player before launching a through ball into the path of Becki McMahon, who had all the space to drill it past the keeper’s right.
Gatens tripled Shields’ advantage after half-time following a handball incident in the box involving Harrogate’s Ella Williams, and her resulting penalty in the 62nd minute was as assured as you like.
A late flurry of goals took the game from 3-0 to 5-0 within minutes: in the 88th minute some nice play between Megan Archbold and Jade Dryden resulted in a cross meeting McMahon, who secured her brace with a cool header in the area.
She almost could have bagged herself a hat-trick just a minute later, but McMahon couldn’t repeat what happened just moments before.
Greener managed to find Shields’ fifth for the afternoon, and a brace for herself too, in the 90th minute as another late cross found her, before taking a touch and volleying into the far-left corner.
Shields are next at home against Redcar Town next Sunday (23rd April, 2pm kick-off). Full details will be announced closer to matchday.