The Lionesses continued their great form this season with a Laura Tobin hat-trick sealing a 5-1 win away at Sale in the Women’s Challenge Cup, advancing Salford to the semi-finals of the competition.
Tobin got her first goal on 20 minutes before Jade Boulton and Ellen Thorton added to Salford’s advantage going into the break.
Salford’s number 10 then added another two goals before Sale got a reply through Sloane which proved to be a mere consolation.
After an impeccably observed two minute silence on Remembrance Sunday, Salford started fairly slowly as they adjusted to the pitch, not making the most of their early possession.
But after 13 minutes they got the break through as Tobin found space in the box and calmly finished past the Sale goalkeeper to put the Lionesses ahead.
It only took another five minutes for Salford to double their advantage when the ball fell to Boulton on the edge of the box and the midfielder smashed the ball home off the crossbar.
The pressure from the away side kept on mounting as they continually put bodies forward with Annabel Ainscough finding a lot of space down the right in particular. She managed to pick out Mia Pemberton but the winger couldn’t direct her effort on target.
Substitute Phoebe Duckworth was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as her cross nearly creeped in, but instead crashed off the crossbar with the keeper beaten.
However Salford did manage to get a third on the half hour when a corner fell to centre back Ellen Thornton and she managed to poke it home amongst the confusion in the box.
HALF TIME: Sale Ladies 0-3 Salford City Lionesses
Salford got things back underway much quicker in the second half, adding a fourth within three minutes of the restart. Becky Topping had her effort saved by the Sale keeper but the ball fell to Tobin who took it round the keeper and slotted it home into an empty net.
The Lionesses continued to press well in the second period, with wing back Abby Bennett causing many problems for the home team. Moving into more central positions when in possession, she nearly scored a screamer but only a great save from the keeper to tip it onto the crossbar denied her a place on the scoresheet.
But the fifth did eventually come from a corner. Duckworth’s delivery found Adora Yau who headed down into the path of Tobin who completed her hat-trick as she tapped it home.
It nearly got even better for the away side as Pemberton cut inside from the left and saw her effort from outside the box come off the post just seconds after Sale got the game back underway.
At 5-0 up, Sale managed to come into the game, fashioning their first real chance on 75 minutes when a great effort from 20 yards was saved by substitute goalkeeper Jess Duke who tipped it round the post.
Five minutes later, Sale did manage to get a consolation as the ball fell to Sloane inside the box, unmarked for her to slot the ball past Duke to restore some pride to the home side.
Despite the game being out of reach, Sale did continue to come forward and nearly scored a second with an audacious effort leaving Duke scrabbling, but the crossbar came to the rescue to prevent a looping shot creeping in.