Stevenage set up a clash with neighbours Royston Town after victory over Barking in round three of the league cup - while there was a historic debut late on.

The Eastern Region Women's League Premier Division leaders won 4-1 away to Barking to reach the quarter-final, the tie against the Crows one of four between the two still to be played this season.

It was a comfortable victory over the Essex side, who have a strong grip at the top of the division below, and Boro found their rhythm immediately.

Rosy Wodhams, who would be named player of the match, set the tone when she curled in a right-footed cross that was inches too high for top scorer Amy Makewell.

It was a temporary reprieve as five minutes later, Stevenage were ahead.

Lucy Webster took a short throw to Makewell who turned and hooked the ball into the 18-yard box.

Keeper Adella Jackson called for the ball but could not claim it through the growing crowd and the ball was forced home by Emily Schofield.

Schofield was on a mission from that point onward and the hard-working forward nearly doubled the scoreline with a thunderbolt that crashed off the crossbar and out to safety.

Sarah Finch twice went close at the other end, both were blocked by the consistent Nicole Farmer, and, after a brief lull in opportunities, Stevenage made it two.

Wodhams put Makewell through down the left but she was unable to turn her marker.

However, she did the next best thing, laying the ball off to Schofield who found the net from the edge of the box.

Barking were stunned into action by that and reduced the deficit fairly quickly.

Mia O'Brien had superbly pushed a Finch shot behind for a corner but could do nothing about the set-piece, with Barking's dangerous forward finally getting her goal.

But Stevenage had their two-goal lead back by half-time.

Wodhams won the ball back high up the pitch and when her intended pass was deflected back to her, she opted for a shot, giving the keeper no chance.

The final goal of the game came immediately after the restart.

Webster's excellent run into the box gave her the perfect opportunity to shoot.

She did just that and although the keeper saved it, Makewell was following up.

The rest of the match was notable for missed opportunities but also for the debut of Jess Poulter, the first player from Stevenage's emerging talent centre, part of an FA programme, to feature for the first team.

Manager Fadi Mazloum was pleased with the team's performance but even more so with the effort of Poulter.

He said: "We controlled the game well and didn’t give them the chance to play.

"Jess controls the game well at CDM for the development side and you could see that in some of the tackles she made when she came on."

The player herself added: "I was hopeful I could get some time to show what I can do and I really enjoyed it."



Stevenage: O’Brien, Webster, Neal, Farmer, Nebbitt, Bodily, Wodhams, Shephard, Schofield, Millen, Makewell.

Subs: Price, Bellinger, Poulter, Lightning, Fidler.

Goals: Schofield (two), Wodhams, Makewell.