It’s tre­ble tops for Jess and County

CLARKE CLIN­I­CAL BUT AR­SE­NAL ALSO SHINE

The Football League Paper - - WOMEN'S FOOTBALL WEEKLY - By Jamie Holt

JESS Clarke fired her firstever Notts County hat-trick against Ox­ford United on Wed­nes­day night – and has now set her sights on Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup glory.

County, who lost in the FA Cup fi­nal against Chelsea ear­lier this month, main­tained their per­fect record in the Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup to move top of Group Three with a 6-1 vic­tory at Abing­don United.

Clarke com­pleted her hat­trick within the hour while Rachel Wil­liams, Ellen White and an own goal from Demi Lam­bourne rounded off the scor­ing for the Lady Pies – the only blight on their record be­ing a late goal from Ox­ford’s He­len King.

“We want to get to the fi­nal of this com­pe­ti­tion but we can’t get too car­ried away with any­thing yet as there are plenty more games to be played,” striker Clarke said.

“We could have scored a few more, but I am re­ally happy with the re­sult. It took us a few min­utes to build our con­fi­dence, get the ball mov­ing and try to get in be­hind them. As soon as we got the first goal, we built on it and the con­fi­dence started flow­ing.” Else­where on Wed­nes­day,

Chelsea stormed their way to a 3-0 win at strug­gling Wat­ford – and the Blues did so with­out a num­ber of their star per­form­ers.

Gilly Fla­herty and Gemma Dav­i­son were the only firstchoice play­ers on show as Lin­voy Primus’ daugh­ter At­lanta, Jodie Brett and sub­sti­tute Mil­lie Far­row all net­ted in the vic­tory.

Chelsea still have plenty of work to do to make it out of Group One but boss Emma Hayes was sat­is­fied by the show­ing. “I’ve man­aged to leave the vast ma­jor­ity of the dress­ing room at home and bring a group of mostly young play­ers,” she said.

Home­com­ing

“We got the re­sult I think the per­for­mance de­served although there were times where we strug­gled to move the ball around as quickly as we’d have liked.

“But a good fin­ish from At­lanta Primus came at the right time in the game and I think 3-0 is prob­a­bly a de­served re­sult from what was a solid per­for­mance.”

Mean­while last Sun­day, sub­sti­tute Court­ney Sweet­man-Kirk’s sec­ond-half hat-trick stunned Ever­ton and earned Don­caster

Rovers Belles a 3-2 vic­tory in what was un­de­ni­ably the tie of a pul­sat­ing day of Con­ti­nen­tal Tyres Cup ac­tion.

Goals from Emily Hollinshead and El­lie Stewart had put the home side in firm con­trol at the break, but Sweet­man-Kirk’s in­tro- duc­tion changed the game as her 17-minute tre­ble turned the tie and handed the Belles a first win in this sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Ear­lier in the day, Chelsea were hum­bled at home to Group One lead­ers Ar­se­nal, with Marta Corred­era’s first-half dou­ble the dif­fer­ence be­tween the sides in record-sign­ing Fran Kirby’s first start for the Blues.

Notts County edged past Bristol Academy thanks to Wil­liams’ strike, while Alys Hinch­cliffe, Ni­cola Cousins and An­nie Heather­son fired Yeovil to

a 3-1 vic­tory over As­ton Villa. Birm­ing­ham City eased to a 3-0 vic­tory at home to Ox­ford

United.

And in Satur­day’s fix­tures, Eng­land cap­tain Steph Houghton en­joyed a per­fect home­com­ing at Sun­der­land as she chipped in with a pow­er­ful header in Man

ch­ester City’s 3-1 win to send the Cit­i­zens top of Group Two.

Liver­pool how­ever, who notched up a 1-0 vic­tory over Durham, are hot on their heels

and Read­ing also se­cured a 3-0

win over Lon­don Bees.

PIC­TURE: The FA

LEAP OF FAITH: Marta Corred­era scored twice for Ar­se­nal against Chelsea

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