Courtney claims first FAWPL hat-trick – Jonathan Hooke

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk could not hide her delight after bagging her first FA Women’s Premier League hat-trick in the 3-2 victory over Barnet on Sunday.

Despite falling behind to Renata Inniss’ early goal, City rallied and equalised through Sweetman-Kirk’s close-range finish. She quickly doubled her tally from Karen Clough’s flick, before sealing her hat-trick in the second-half by heading in Natalie Reay’s cross. Holly Sandow set up a nervy finish when she pulled a goal back for the Londoners with 16 minutes remaining, but Chris Holloway’s side held on for a vital victory.

“As always it’s great to get on the score sheet,’’ Sweetman-Kirk admitted. “I’d like to think that even though I haven’t scored in the last few games, I’ve still made a good contribution to the team by setting up goals and coming close. As always, being a striker, scoring is what we love to do. It was my first hat-trick in the FA Women’s Premier League as well, so I’m very happy with that.”

It was a second league win on the bounce for the Sky Blues, whilst Barnet’s miserable winless season continued, as they stay rooted to the bottom of the league. Astonishingly, they last tasted league success 15 months ago and have just four points to show from a possible 48 this season.

Meanwhile, Sweetman-Kirk’s hat-trick took her tally to 17 goals in all competitions this season, surpassing the 15 she netted in the 2011/12 campaign. However, she praised the support and efforts of her teammates in helping her surmount last season’s total.

“I think we are going from strength to strength, now that we are getting a run of games. Obviously I couldn’t have scored my hat-trick without the assistance of my team, as three different people assisting me shows the sheer depth of the squad.

“But credit to Barnet, as they pushed hard – especially towards the end – but I never thought we would be coming away with anything less than three points.”

The in-form Sky Blues travel to Wales on Sunday to take on Cardiff City, knowing victory could lift them as high as fifth in the FA Women’s Premier League table. 

The fixture takes place at the Cardiff Athletic Stadium, and will kick off at 2pm.

Photo – Marc Evans.

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