St Albans Ladies thumped Sherrardswood 5-0 in their first match back after Christmas, with goals from Ellen Salter, Ellie Lovelock and Kayla Johnson adding to a brace from Nicola Dark to ensure victory in the Beds and Herts Women’s League.

It was Dark who opened the scoring just eight minutes into the match when she latched on to Johnson’s corner and flicked the ball past Shay Godin.

Sherrardswood almost equalised soon after when Manjinder Atwal struck the post before she was brought down in the box by Holly Rossington to win her side a penalty.

However, Lauren Croucher tipped Rhiana Rose’s strike onto the bar before pouncing on the rebound to keep the Lady Saints in the lead.

St Albans had several chances to double their advantage before the interval, with Lovelock and Johnson both going close, while Jessica Cavaree headed over the bar, meaning they would have to settle for a one-goal lead at the break.

They did not have to wait long after the game resumed before they finally scored a second when Croucher sent a long ball forward for Salter, who beat her defender, before rolling the ball back for Dark to claim her second of the match.

Godin was kept busy throughout the second half by the Lady Saints’ attack as they looked to put the game fully out of their opponents’ reach.

Eventually, with ten minutes left on the clock, they got themselves a third when Megan Samuel did well to pick out Salter from the right, allowing her to nip in and tuck the ball away with a well-taken finish.

Sherrardswood were a defeated side and goals from Lovelock and Johnson in the final three minutes put some gloss on an impressive return to action for St Albans.