NATASHA BAPTISTE bagged a hat-trick as Sporting Club Albion Ladies thrashed Newcastle United 6-0 in the FA Women’s Premier League (Northern Division) at The Grove on Sunday.
Goals from Kayleigh Griffiths, Kelly Darby and substitute Ashleigh Neville helped seal a comfortable victory for Dave Lawrence’s side, who have now scored 11 goals in their opening three league fixtures.
And Albion boss Lawrence reserved special praise for much-improved hat-trick hero Baptiste.
“It was an excellent hat-trick and I’m really happy with her,” said Lawrence.
“She’s unplayable when she’s on form and she made things very difficult for Newcastle.
“Their two centre-halves and left-back couldn’t get anywhere near her.
“She has improved her technique in the past 12 months and she is now able to retain possession and bring other players into the game, as well as scoring goals.
“She now has four goals this season and she has constantly looked a threat.
“We all hope she can continue to play like she has so far.”
United, who were relegated from the National Division last season, won their opening two league fixtures but were outclassed by the Baggies.
And Lawrence remains cautious on his team’s chances of earning promotion to the National Division, despite earning consecutive league triumphs.
“Getting promoted to the National Division is a difficult thing to accomplish and we won’t be looking at that too much until Christmas when we have played each team once and we are able to assess where we stand.
“We’re just going to try and keep doing what we’ve been doing and not get complacent.
“Newcastle were up there last season and they’ll be doing their utmost to get back up there again this year.
“Last season we were winning games one and two nil so to get a six nil victory over a side who were playing a division higher than us last season is massive.”
ALBION: Foster; Darby (Key 73), Griffiths (Scott 70), Hodgetts, Rippington; Fowler (Neville 53), Fellows, McQuilkin, Owen; James, Baptiste. Unused subs: Hirschman, Thomas.