Accrington Stanley Women remain top of the North West Womens Regional League – Division One North after a resounding 8-1 win against Penwortham Town Ladies at the Stanley Sports Hub on Sunday afternoon.

Sanah Mehdi netted four of Stanley’s goals, while Georgia Payton and captain Millie Jardine both grabbed braces.

A fifth consecutive league win keeps Stanley Women at the top of the table after winning seven of their opening nine games of the season.

It was the away side that started on the front foot, with the Stanley defence standing strong to thwart two Penwortham attacks.

Stanley Women grew into the game and after some great link up play in midfield, Mehdi escaped the offside trap, kept her cool and slotted home to make it 1-0.

Full of confidence, Kristian Perry’s side continued pushing forward and it was soon 2-0. Cara McCormick’s excellent set-piece delivery has been a key feature of Stanley’s success this season and her corner found Lily Metcalf, whose shot was blocked, but Jardine made no mistake, firing in the rebound.

Penwortham shot wide of Tanya Nash’s left-hand post as they desperately searched for a way back into the game, but it was the home side who extended their lead. After some beautiful play in midfield from Loulou Newton, the ball fell to Payton who played it through to Mehdi, who made no mistake and got her second of the game.

Perry’s side still had time to get another before half-time, with in-form Payton grabbing her fifth of the season.

Just as in the first-half, it was the away side who started the brighter after the break, but despite that it was Stanley Women who went even further ahead, with Mehdi bagging her hat-trick following more scintillating play by Newton and Payton.

Firing on all cylinders, Stanley Women continued looking for more goals and Payton notched her second and sixth of the season, tapping in after Metcalf’s shot was spilled by the Penwortham goalkeeper, to make it 6-0.

Despite the scoreline, the away side kept pushing and a long-range free-kick found the top corner to pull one back for Penwortham.

Stanley Women were not done there however, and there was still time for Mehdi to bag her fourth of the game after more good play by player of the match Newton, before Jardine hit a stunning free-kick to complete the scoring and secure an 8-1 win.

Kristian Perry, First Team Head Coach at Accrington Stanley Women, said: “A good performance from the first team against Penwortham. We prepared well in training, as we knew Penwortham could score goals, so it was important to keep our shape and defend well, which we managed to do.

“We looked really sharp when attacking and we scored some really good team goals.”

Accrington Stanley Women are next in action on Sunday 5th November, when they face Penwortham Town Ladies once again. The game kicks off at 2pm and will be played at the Vernon Carus Sports Club in Penwortham.

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