Double-Digit County Cup Blitz

A Lincoln City Women double-digit blitz saw off Grimsby Borough at home in County Cup First Round.

The hosts went 6-0 up moments before the whistle blew for half time, with braces from Amy Kay (6, 30) and Tia Johnnson (12, 21), a debut goal for Sophie Crosby (39) and a 45th minute goalline shot for Amy Blinkhorn giving the Imps a comfortable lead.

The second half was much the same, with two goals coming within the first four minutes. A close-range shot from Johnson (46) and a tap in from the rebound for Katy Thornley (49) preceded a short-distance goal from Emily Atkinson (70). The half also saw Kay complete her hat trick (81) and a second for Atkinson late on (85).

The Imps made six changes from the winning starting line up from last week’s FA Cup victory. Manager, Richard Cooper, gave two players their First Team debut against the team two leagues below. Chloe Gray was called up from the Development Team and Crosby made her debut First Team performance after signing two weeks ago.

Lincoln got off to a strong start, with the first promising attempt coming within the opening minute. Brooke Osborne made a sharp run down the left, crossing to the far post. However, no one was in place to receive it.

It only took six minutes for the Imps to take the lead. Atkinson made a sharp pass forward to Kay in the box, who flicked it into the bottom corner.

Soon after, Atkinson made another promising run down the right, but her cross to Jeorgia Carr resulted in a corner. The Imps capitalised on it as Osbourne found Johnson in the goalmouth, who scored from close range.

In the 21st minute, Johnson scored her second of the game with a brilliant curling strike into the far side of the net from the corner of the 18-yard box.

Kay also secured her brace shortly after Johnson. An Osborne corner found Kay, who sent the ball just inside the back post at the half an hour mark.

In the 38th minute, Osborne was brought down in the box and a penalty was awarded to the Imps. Crosby stepped up to the spot and scored her first goal for Lincoln in her debut appearance. Beth French, in the Grimsby goal, jumped the right way but not fast enough to block Crosby’s powerful strike.

Just before the half time whistle blew, Blinkhorn made it six for the Imps. She was on the receiving end of a cross from the right, chipped the ball over the goalkeeper before running around her and knocking it on the goalline.

Half time 6-0.

Lincoln made four substitutions at the beginning of the second half. Katy Thornley, Sophie Hudson, Eden Pedersen, and Heather Pettit replaced Atkinson, Gray, Osborne and Kay.

Immediately following the Imps kicking off the half, they scored again. Blinkhorn found Thornley, who made a speedy run down the right before crossing to Johnson in the goalmouth. Johnson slotted the ball into the far corner to complete her hat trick.

It didn’t take long for Thornley to get in on the scoring action. Just three minutes later, an attempt from Carr rebounded off of the keeper and landed at Thornley’s feet. She calmly slotted it home.

After twenty minutes of play where Grimsby looked slightly more promising but only had one attempt on goal, Atkinson scored for the Imps. Osborne collected the ball down the right hand side of the pitch and crossed to Atkinson, allowing her to score from close-range.

In the 81st minute, a goalmouth mêlé following an attempt from Thornley allowed Kay to complete her hat trick with a header.

Atkinson finished the scoring in the 85th minute, getting around Grimsby’s defence and slotting it home without any reaction from French in goal.

Full time 11-0.

Manager, Richard Cooper, said: “These games are always difficult. When you play a team that’s two league below you there’s always the chance that you don’t know how the players are going to prepare for it and how they’re going to go into the game from a psychological perspective.”

“I think the players really set about it right from the first whistle and were relentless really.”

Lincoln now progress into the Second Round of the tournament they have won - when competing as Nettleham Ladies - for the past six years.

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