Cray Wanderers certainly found their shooting boots as they overcame a gallant Hayden Youth outfit at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium on Sunday.
Five-goal player-of-the-match Chidimma Nwokedi led the way while Anna Colnaghi also walked off with a matchball after bagging a hat-trick.
“We did well,” said Cray manager Danny Stanton. “I thought they would struggle with our pace up front so we tried to exploit that.
“If we got two or three early goals we knew it would work in our favour and they’d have to come out and leave more space for us to exploit.
“We took our chances well. Chidimma is pretty potent and has got over 100 goals this year.
“It was a really good team performance, cup finals are there to be won and we’ve done it.
“To be fair, we lost to them twice last year so we owed them one.
“The girls are flying this year. We’re a year younger and have got five league games left, if we win all five then we win the league against the likes of Crystal Palace, Wimbledon and Watford.
“We’re a good side. They work hard and know their strengths, the girls at the back are strong and dominate most games as well.”
Hayden went close in the second minute through Scarlett Byworth but Cray quickly found their feet.
Nwokedi went past two challenges and slotted in to give them a fourth-minute advantage, keeper Maia Carter then came out bravely to save at the feet of the pacey striker.
Cray added a second on 13 minutes, a ricochet falling nicely for Colnaghi, whose delicate lob from the edge of the box was worthy of winning any final.
Nwokedi was in the right place again on 15 minutes to make it 3-0 and she completed a 16-minute hat-trick when she cut inside the last defender and slotted in her team’s fourth.
Hayden never gave up, though. Isla Mason’s excellent delivery from corners posed problems but they lacked an element of luck when the ball never fell for them in the box.
Amber Corner’s 35-yard free-kick forced impressive keeper Maisie Pitt into a save, before Hayden’s Grace Matthews’ dazzling run ended with her shot blocked.
Cray added a sixth goal in stoppage time, Kate Mickleburgh producing an accomplished finish at the far post from a corner.
The scoring spree continued as Colnaghi completed her hat-trick with two excellent strikes early in the second half.
Then Mickleburgh’s long-range free-kick came back off the crossbar and bounced in to make it 9-0.
Hayden’s Martha Beadle saw her free-kick saved but there was still time for Nwokedi to take her tally for the morning to five goals. Her fourth goal saw her burst past three defenders with her electric pace and the fifth was another excellent right-foot strike.
Cray Wanderers: Maisie Pitt, Neave Palmer, Ellie Harkin, Frankie Davis, Maddie Waite, Izzy Pantony, Mofie Adepoju, Kate Mickleburgh, Faye Miller, Chidimma Nwokedi, Anna Colnaghi, Sofia Stanton, Belle Mcnally, Poppy Riley, Elisha Striesow.
Hayden Youth: Maia Carter, Kate Davidson, Isla George, Scarlett Byworth, Fayokemi Ogunsipe, Charlotte Deal, Isla Mason, Amber Corner, Martha Beadle, Grace Matthews, Jessica Dumbleton, Lola Swift.
Referee: Rashpal Shergill.