REPORT | Five star Southampton keep up the chase

Kayleigh Tonks hit a second-half hat-trick as Southampton Women’s won 5-0 against Poole Town in the FA Women’s National League Division One South West.

Jennifer King broke the deadlock in the first-half before Tonks scored two within five minutes from the break.

The 21-year-old completed her hat-trick late on while Hannah Samuels made it five in injury-time.

Another wet afternoon at the Bypass Ground saw Poole make their second visit in a month to Romsey.

Southampton were without top goalscorer Jane Yeates after her injury the previous week but it provided the perfect opportunity for Jennifer King’s first start for the first team.

Captain Tash Angel was given a rest as she started on the bench while youngster Gracie White started alongside Kellie Warren and Lauren Cheshire wore the armband.

The hosts started strong and had three chances to score within the opening five mintues.

Warren headed wide from a corner, Áine McKeever set up Samuels but she couldn’t beat the goalkeeper to the ball and Laura Vokes’s effort was straight at the shot stopper.

While most of the play stayed with Southampton the visitors had a glorious chance when their number nine got the better of the defence for a one-on-one but shot wide.

Poole had a more physical presence than when the two sides met in August and were getting themselves about trying to block the attacking threats from the home side.

Southampton had more shots at goal May and Lauren Clark hitting the target but lacking the power to test the keeper, while McKeever drilled her effort wide.

Just before the half hour mark King broke the deadlock for her first senior goal.

The young forward neatly finished a great move where McKeever passed out wide to Vokes for a first time low cross that the keeper could keep hold of.

Five minutes later and May would have made it two if not for some great blocking from the Poole keeper.

Just before the break Vokes went close to scoring her 50th goal for Southampton following King’s excellent charge into the box beating the fullback to set up the winger.

A change at half-time saw Tonks replace Vokes up top and it proved to be an inspired substitution.

With less than a minute on the clock from the restart the young forward had the ball in the net pouncing on the rebound from King’s saved shot.

Two minutes later Southampton had a penalty with Emily Wernham being brought down inside the area.

Cheshire took aim and struck with power however, was denied thanks to a strong hand by the Poole keeper.

Heads didn’t drop though from the penalty disappointment as Tonks struck again with only 50 minutes on the clock.

May and the forward linked up well before the midfielder found the gap to put Tonks through on goal to poke home.

A stunning introduction into the game for Tonks who almost had her hat-trick in the 51st minute but was denied by a fantastic save by the keeper.

While the first-half was sloppy for the hosts the second 45 was anything but as the confidence grew in the side and chances continued to come.

Wernham won the ball back on the high press allowing her to feed King through on goal for a lobbed effort that just went wide.

20 minutes still left to play and Tonks looking for her third goal Southampton were in good control of the game.

The youngster neatly turned on the ball, setting herself for the shot which was well claimed by the leaping goalkeeper.

May narrowly missed on the volley before Tonks had another chance at her hat-trick.

In the 88th minute though Tonks got her hat-trick topping off an excellent move from the team.

An excellent, nonchalant touch from May picked up Cheshire on the wing who crossed for the arriving forward to the delights of all in the ground.

The game wasn’t finished their as Samuels topped off a brilliant performance with her first goal of the season nestling the ball into the net from McKeever low cross.

Five goals all in all for the reds, a second consecutive clean sheet and win keeps them in second place behind title chasers Southampton FC Women.

Full-time: Southampton 5 Poole Town 0


Up next is a long away trip to Devon for Aaron Smith’s side who take a break from league action as they enter the Women’s FA Cup.

The reds face Marine Academy Plymouth in the second qualifying round on Sunday, October 6th kick-off 2pm.

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