STOKE CITY 5 (Palmer 13, 16, 18, Gallagher 41, Foxhall 90+2)
BLACKBURN ROVERS 1 (Hardy 49)
STOKE CITY LADIES made their Britannia Stadium debut in emphatic fashion yesterday by recording a 5-1 win over Blackburn Rovers.
A hat-trick from Jamilla Palmer, a superb free kick from Chantelle Gallagher and a stoppage time fifth from Jodie Foxhall earned all three points in fantastic style to lift the Potters level with second-placed Nottingham Forest.
Backed by a bumper crowd of supporters ready to set off for the first team's game at West Bromwich Albion, Stoke surged into a four goal lead by half-time in a dominant team performance.
A more even second half ensued but a tenth victory of the season left team manager Andrew Frost delighted.
"To get off the mark with three goals in a five minute spell was great," he said.
"We've put the game to bed early on when in some of the previous games we've not managed to do that.
"Jam took her goals well and it was lovely free kick from Chantelle as well.
"It was also pleasing to see Jodie come on after such a tough year for her and I think all the team will echo my sentiments when I say it was great to see her score at the Boothen End.
"The girls approached the game very well and a lot better than they did when we played at another big stadium in the Ricoh Arena.
"It was brilliant playing at the Britannia and the girls loved the opportunity to play there."
With Forest suffering a 4-3 home defeat to Preston North End, City's win put them level on points with the second-placed side, who have now completed their season.
The Potters have the chance to leapfrog them by picking up a positive result in their season finale next Sunday.
Champions Sheffield are the opposition and with Derby County holding them to a 2-2 draw recently, there's plenty of room for optimism ahead of the clash.
Both teams may still be pipped for the runners-up spot by a chasing pack who have further games in hand, but Frost is just hoping for another good display to bring the curtain down on a successful campaign.
"It's all to play for at the top and it'll be a great game to end the season with," he added.
"The good thing is that we've got the points on the board whereas the teams below have to play one another and still have to catch us.
"We've got a lot of respect for Sheffield; they've played together for a long time and have probably the three best players in the league.
"Our girls will be buzzing after this win though and I'm confident that we can run them close."
STOKE CITY: Atherton, Boulton, Bowyer, Dale (Garside 66), Gallagher (Foxhall 87), Horton, Hyde, Lilly, Palmer, Roberts, Tezgel (Thompson 83). Unused: Langstone, Tierney.