Watford Ladies’ run in the FA Women’s Cup came to an abrupt end as WSL1 side Chelsea showed their class, progressing with a 6-0 win.
Marija Banusic netted a hat-trick, while Ji So-Yun, Gemma Davison and Millie Bright also got on the scoresheet.
It was always going to be a tough test but everyone in a yellow shirt gave their all, with the 14 players who featured showing a fantastic work rate throughout.
The Golden Girls started the game impressively and had the first shot attempt after Megan Wynne did well to win a free-kick 25 yards out.
Emily Heaslip stepped up and took it, with her effort going narrowly passed the right hand post of the Chelsea goal.
Watford defended very well in the opening stages and didn’t let the hosts have a sniff of challenging Shayla Burgess in goal.
However, the first chance they created after nine minutes, found its way in. A neat passing move in the final third eventually found So-Yun who fired an effort past Burgess from the edge of the area.
The lead was doubled shortly afterwards – Davison threaded a ball through to Banusic who calmly finished the opportunity that was presented.
Having had no chance with the opening goals, Burgess then showed her worth, superbly denying Banusic a second with a sharp save.
Despite the setback of conceding twice, Watford continued to acquit themselves well and made things difficult for the home side.
However, after the referee adjudged Davison to have been fouled in the box, the same player stepped up and placed the penalty into the corner to make it 3-0.
Players were understandably tiring towards the end of the half and the Blues took advantage – a looping cross found Banusic at the back post who got her second of the afternoon.
While the WSL1 side had undoubtedly been impressive, a fourth goal before half-time was harsh on a Watford team that had given everything.
The first 15 minutes of the second half saw John Salomon’s side on top and putting plenty of pressure on the opposition.
First, Renee Hector sent a good free-kick delivery in towards Kim Farrow but Marie Hourihan came and claimed well.
There was almost another chance for the visitors as Chelsea only just managed to clear following a scramble from Hollie Wride’s corner.
The hosts quickly countered, though, as Davison went through one-on-one but Burgess superbly denied her.
Soon afterwards, Watford came close to a well worked team goal. A good passing move saw Wynne beat two defenders before sending in a cross that was only just too high for Farrow.
While the Lady Hornets had been on top, Chelsea then made it five; Banusic tapping in from a matter of yards for her hat-trick.
Approaching the final 10 minutes, Bright made it six as she headed home from a corner – Burgess again left with no chance.
The keeper continued her impressive display in the last 10 minutes, ensuring that no more would be added to the full-time score.
Watford: S Burgess, Heaslip, Hector (Gillard 73), Robe, Wride, Natkiel, Donnelly, M Burgess, Green, Wynne (Ward-Chambers 65), Farrow (Adamson 71)