South West Phoenix Firebirds recorded a strong 5-1 win on Sunday at Fremantle City.
A six-minute, first half hat-trick to Lucy Scott and two second half goals to 2018 Golden Boot Winner Eleanor Coventry ensured the Firebirds made it five wins in a row.
Fremantle recently knocked Queens Park off the top of the table. The Firebirds had 2018 WA Schoolgirl Representative Asha McClurg absent and Coventry starting on the bench.
Given both sets of circumstances, this loomed as a big test for the Firebirds, especially given the blustery conditions.
However, the Firebirds settled well and Katie McDermott saw an early shot come back off the post after some neat interchange play.
The Firebirds held the upper hand early, before Fremantle struck first. Not surprisingly, it was a set piece as Fremantle was able to score from close range midway through the first half.
Going with the aid of the strong breeze in the first half, Fremantle suspected they would need more reward in the lead up to half time.
However, they were blown away in a six-minute period starting on 35 minutes, when Scott scored a hat trick.
The introduction of Coventry, just before the half-hour mark, was always going to make it difficult for Fremantle to deal with. Scott and Coventry combined to open the scoring for Firebirds.
Coventry got free before her shot was blocked. It then spilled to Scott who took a couple of touches and fired past the keeper from just inside the box.
Three minutes later, Scott was on the scoresheet again when she collected an excellent through-ball from Nicole Suttie and scored.
The third goal was the finest, with a flowing move that started with Kashia King and moved through midfield.
Ruby Stevenson then played a good through-ball for Scott to finish, and round out her hat-trick.
With the Firebirds 3-1 up at half-time, Fremantle came out with a renewed vigour to start the second half.
The Firebirds were clearly flustered and were camped inside their own half for the first fifteen minutes, struggling to keep possession of the ball.
Fremantle were unable to create any chances though against a well-organised Firebirds' rear guard.
Once the Firebirds got their rhythm back, it was likely to spell danger for Fremantle with 20 minutes remaining.
Coventry received Suttie's pass, cut back onto her right foot, and fired past the Fremantle keeper from 15 yards.
The goal settled the Firebirds and deflated Fremantle. Coventry added her second and Firebirds' fifth soon after, when she lobbed the keeper to round out a 5-1 win.
This was an impressive result in what was anticipated to be a tough game for the Firebirds.
With absences and injuries early in the season, the Firebirds have fought through to win their opening five games and set up their season nicely.