The Lionesses were superior for the vast majority of the match and our opponents from the Division One North didn’t offer much in reply.
Following an opening period where both teams got to grips with a soft pitch, the visitors took the lead in the seventh minute. A free-kick was awarded at the top of the penalty area in a central position and Lawson stepped up smash it into the right-hand post.
Shortly afterwards she nearly turned provider after taking a corner to Beth Tattersall at the top of the area. The captain took a touch to steady herself then drilled a shot that was held by Penwortham keeper Francesca Gray. Tattersall then played in Feiruz Abdullahi down the left-hand side with a well-weighted pass, but she fired her shot over the bar.
Gray was standing up to the Lionesses’ threats rather well and threw herself to her right to push away a low Abdullahi shot, with the subsequent corner cleared, before she denied Phoebe Duckworth from close range and then Abdullahi on the follow-up.
However the resulting corner was crossed in by Lawson from the left, and only partially cleared by Penwortham. Ellen Thornton was waiting just inside the area and shifted possession onto her right foot before firing in a second goal.
A couple of minute later the hosts had their first attempt after breaking forward down the right-hand side, but from a tight angle the forward put her shot wide across the goal.
Just before the half hour mark Lawson grabbed her second of the afternoon, after being sent clear on the right and firing past the keeper. Minutes later she was denied at hat-trick by Gray who was alert to the danger as the goal-hungry forward reached the area.
Next it was Lionesses goalkeeper Jess Duke who was called into action when she kept a rare Penwortham effort out with a smart stop.
While the half wasn’t done and dusted, the game effectively was in the final five minutes. Gray did well to deny Tattersall, and the loose ball dropped to Abdullahi who was denied first time when Gray made herself big to block the striker’s shot. However she made no mistake the second time in making it 4-0, before setting up Duckworth for the fifth by outmuscling her opponent and squaring it to the unmarked winger, waiting in the box unmarked for a tap-in.
HALF TIME: Penwortham Town Ladies 0-5 Salford City Lionesses
Abby Bennett nearly started the second half with a goal when she lifted a shot from outside the area, but Gray plucked it out of the air as it dropped towards goal. She then denied Abdullahi from a tight angle. Just after the hour though the striker rounded the keeper and tucked in her second of the afternoon.
Chances were much fewer and far between, and Tattersall sent one shot wide across the face of goal before hitting the upright with a powerful shot after Bennett played her through. Nevertheless the win was made more emphatic in injury time when Lawson controlled a similar ball over the top and fired past Gray.
FULL TIME: Penwortham Town Ladies 0-7 Salford City Lionesses
At the third attempt this match survived despite a downpour on Saturday night, and the Lionesses will be the more delighted side with the outcome.
The last eight sees us welcome Tranmere Rovers Ladies to Partington Sports Village, and we’ll confirm the match details once they have been arranged!