Stacey McConville and team-mates

Stacey McConville netted a brace to help Posh Women to an impressive victory over Wem Town Ladies.

Stacey McConville introduced herself back into the matchday squad for the first time in over four months in remarkable fashion after two stunning goals helped Peterborough United Women record an emphatic 5-0 victory at Butler Sports Centre to retain their place in the FA Women’s National League next season.  

It was an even opening 10 minutes, with both sides struggling to retain possession on a bubbly pitch. Hannah Hipwell registered the first shot of the game on 12 minutes as her half-volley from the edge of the box was comfortably held by the keeper.

Niamh Connor saw an effort blocked from inside the box after Kaleigh Aylmer corner caused mayhem inside the hosts box. Katie Steward was booked on 26 minutes after a late challenge on one of the Wem Town defenders.

The first opportunity for the hosts fell just after the half an hour mark as a corner was flicked over the bar by Caitlyn Smith. Posh broke the deadlock on 35 minutes as Aylmer, on the right-hand side, beat the full-back and delivered a perfect cross to the near post, Beatriz Borque was on hand to poke home with a smart finish.

A lovely interchange from Katie Steward and Borque opened the Wem Town defence once more, Borque fed Perkins through on-goal, but her effort was saved by the on-rushing keeper. However, on the stroke of half-time, Posh doubled their lead as Connor advanced forward from defence, played it to Hipwell and she picked out Perkins inside the box, her trustworthy right-foot finding the top corner.

Amy Butler was called into action in the final few seconds of the first half as she pushed Zoe Griffiths’ free-kick, from around 20 yards out, away for a corner. Dan Lawlor made his first change of the afternoon on 54 minutes as Katie Steward was replaced by Nicole Hendrick, who came on to make her first-team debut.

Wem Town’s number 18 diverted a cross wide of the far post as the hosts searched for a way back into the game. Lawlor was forced into his second change on 65 minutes as Stacey McConville came on for the injured Borque. The hosts number two was cautioned shortly after a strong tackle on Jess Driscoll.

McConville, who returned to the squad for the first-time since December, connected well on the half-volley, but was comfortably gathered by the keeper. With less than five minutes left on the clock, Posh were 3-0 up and it was a beauty of a strike from McConville, Hipwell delivered an inch-perfect cross and the midfielder struck a well-timed volley on her weaker foot over the keeper.

Less than four minutes later, McConville grabbed her second of the game, and another potential goal of the game, as a long ball over the top was brought down by Perkins before McConville half-volley from the edge of the box sailed over the keeper. Posh didn’t stop there, and in injury time, extended their advantage to five goals as Hipwell raced onto a superb ball over the top by Cassie Steward and slotted the ball under the keeper.

Posh: Butler, Aylmer, Copson, Connor, Makanjuola, Borque (McConville, 65min), Hipwell, Driscoll, C. Steward, K. Steward (Hendrick, 54min), Perkins