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Barnet cruised through the Preliminary Round of the Premier League Cup at Hanwell, beating a depleted Colchester United side 5-0.
The pace and interplay between the Bees forwards was too much for the Colchester back four and the Essex side rarely threatened after a bright opening twenty minutes.
Barnet scored on ten minutes with their first serious attack when Stacey Sowden was released by a clever interchange of passes to outpace the last defender and score past Faye Lunn. Holly Sandow hit the bar from 35 yards before Kate O'Leary doubled the lead ten minutes ahead of the break after Lunn had done well to parry her initial effort. The same player added another close to half time with a half volley which looped over Lunn with the aid of a slight deflection.
Colchester had already lost key players due to injury and rarely threatened Cherie Rowlands in the home goal in a one-sided second half. Sandow added a fourth on 58 minutes with a composed finish from a right wing cross and substitute Gemma Rudman scored the final goal via a long range shot which deceived Lunn on 72 minutes. Sowden went close on two more occasions after trademark solo attacks from distance.
Colchester used substitute goalkeeper Nikita Runnacles as an extra forward in the last fifteen minutes and she contributed fully as the Essex team tried hard for a consolation goal without success.
Barnet looked a powerful unit, with the core of the team which finished runners-up in the league last season supplemented by the experience and calm authority of Leanne Reidy in defence and they are going to be tested in the next round as they go to face Chelsea. Colchester have lost a major player with Kate Longhurst's departrure to Watford but will still give any team in the division a challenge when at full strength, unlike in this match.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Elsewhere in the Premier League Cup, OOH Lincoln set up a First Round tie with Birmingham City by beating Newcastle Utd 3-1, thanks to a Stacey Aisthorpe double and Jodie Michalska.
Curzon Ashton came away from Derby County with a hard earned 2-1 victory and will now go to Aston Villa. Amanda Goodwin, from the penalty spot, and Issy Hayes netted for Curzon with Derby replying through a Sinead Morgan free kick.
Portsmouth travelled along the South Coast to win 3-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion to earn themselves a home tie with WFC Fulham. Cassie Thorp gave Pompey the lead with a 20-yard strike before Kirsty McGee netted the second from a corner. Zoe Nash made it three on the quarter hour after latching onto a through ball from Justine Lorton and Brighton's consolation goal came from Amy Found early in the second half.
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