When these teams met earlier this season, Brentford edged the game 3-2 at Bedfont Sports, so this was predicted to be just as closely fought. If there were nerves in the dressing room before the game, they didn’t show during the match.
Shannon Read fired the away side into an early lead. A cross by Jasmine Williamson fell right into Read’s stride and she struck low to nutmeg the keeper.
The lead was doubled soon after. Ruby Sumpter won the ball back in the middle of the park, played a neat ball to Read and this time the striker turned provider. Williamson ran on to the pass and smashed it home, the keeper got hands to it but was never going to be able to divert it wide.
The Lionesses looked like they might get back into the game but goalkeeper Hannah Iguchi was equal to both of the half-chances that came from long shots. Straight down the other end, it looked like Williamson would have her second but she rushed the shot and drove it wide of the target when bearing down on goal.
The third goal finally came from a neat move on the left. Kasey Clifford clipped a great pass down the wing with the outside of her boots, Chloe Kaur-Boparai running on to it. She cut the ball back to the edge of the box and there was Read to fire home on target.
Williamson got back in on the act before half-time. Read, on a hat-trick, tried to curl the ball into the far post from the left side of the box but it was parried. Not too far though, as there was Williamson to sweep in the rebound and send her side four-up at the interval.
It was five mid-way through the second half. A deep free-kick by Clifford was met perfectly by Sumpter at the back post, nodding it home with ease. It was almost immediately made six by Boparai, scoring her second of the season. She shaped to cross but cut back from her marker an unleashed a shot that found the top corner, the keeper with absolutely no chance of saving it.
Clifford rounded things off with a goal that her performance deserved. Another free-kick, this time she went for goal. It looped over the diving keeper and found the left side of the net, a great way to cap off a seven-goal performance. The game was also noteable for the return of goalkeeper Sophie Boycott, who made an appearance off the bench after almost a year out through injury.
Bees: Iguchi; Green, McPherson-Maraj, Mahamud; Bah, Sumpter, Clifford, Boparai; Jaffer, Read, Williamson
Subs: S. Boycott, Abou-Abdallah, Azam, Williams