Accrington Stanley Women secured an emphatic 5-0 win against Penrith AFC Ladies at the Wham Stadium on Sunday.

Former England, Everton and Manchester City footballer, Izzy Christiansen was also in attendance, with the Sky Sports pundit signing autographs and taking pictures with fans before the game in Coley’s.

Following that exciting appearance, the Alliance Design & Print Plate first-round tie got underway, with Stanley Women keeper Tanya Nash getting down well to deny Penrith’s Abbie Forster early on.

The home team grew into the game, with top goalscorer Georgia Payton seeing a goal ruled out for offside, before she fired narrowly wide after good play from Loulou Newton.

It did not take in-form Payton long to break the deadlock however, slotting calmly home to give Kristian Perry’s side the lead on 10 minutes.

Just five minutes later Stanley Women had their second. The impressive Niamh Corrigan capitalised on a mistake at the back and smashed the ball into the back of the net to double Stanley’s lead.

Now in their groove, Stanley Women kept pushing forward and player of the match, Newton, made it three with a fantastic long-range strike, which flew past the Penrith goalkeeper and into the top corner.

Despite finding themselves 3-0 down, Penrith looked for a way back into the game and on 22 minutes they were awarded a penalty. Sharena Robinson stepped up, but an inspired Nash made a fantastic save to keep Stanley’s clean sheet intact.

The dangerous Payton then got in well down the right-hand side but saw her low shot saved by the feet of Penrith goalkeeper Hope Lawson, while at the other end and Nash made another important save to deny Kayleigh Wharton.

As the first half ended, Newton came close twice to grabbing a fourth for Stanley Women, but it remained three at the break.

It did not take the home side long to extend their lead after half-time, however, with Sanah Mehdi firing home after more scintillating wing play from Corrigan.

Newton, Corrigan and Millie Dooley all came close to extending Stanley Women’s lead even further, while Nash made terrific acrobatic saves to deny Wharton and Stacey Harkness-Grant, as Penrith went in search of a consolation goal.

As the game came to a close, Dooley’s shot drifted narrowly wide of the post and Sadie Mitchell saw her volley fly just wide for the home side.

With just moments left, Stanley Women did get a fifth, with Meg Rodriguez volleying in expertly from a Cara McCormick corner, to end what was a five star performance from Perry’s side.

Sami Smithson, Chair of Accrington Stanley Women, said: “What another fantastic day for the club including beating Penrith 5-0 in the first round of the plate.

“We were also really privileged to have Izzy Christiansen down before the game, signing autographs and posing for pictures with our supporters.

“As always we had a great community atmosphere, a fantastic performance on the pitch and the girls played their hearts out today and I couldn’t be prouder of them and the community of Accrington, who have come here to support us. That was the best performance I have seen from them all season and I am sure all of the supporters will agree too.”

Accrington Stanley Women are next in action on Sunday when they travel to face Haslingden Girls & Ladies FC, with a 2pm kick-off.

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