Teenager Jodie Bellinger came off the bench to score a wonderful hat-trick as Luton Town Ladies won 4-2 at Plymouth Argyle in their FA WPL Plate clash on Sunday.
Manager Nikki Baker was forced into squad changes through injury as Rebecca Kane made her first start of the season, while keeper Angelika Kopec played her first game in two years.
After she made a good save from close range early on, it was the visitors who went in front when Zara Carroll’s free kick was headed home by Nicola Henman.
Kane missed a great chance to make it 2-0, before Dionne Manning was injured in a tackle, meaning Bellinger entered the fray.
Argyle were reduced to 10 players just before the break as Kayley Lane received a straight red, but they levelled on 62 minutes through Tori Marks.
However, Luton were ahead once more as Erica Byron’s delivery was converted by Bellinger for her first goal for the first team.
Lucy Tape came on for her first team debut, while it was 3-1 when Jess McKay teed up Bellinger for her 100th goal for the club at all levels.
She then had her hat-trick when Byron took Kopec’s long ball forward and found Bellinger who fired into the bottom corner.
Late on, Kayleigh Brown grabbed a consolation strike from a corner, but it was Hatters who progressed.
Baker said: “The girls were absolutely outstanding and to come away with a win against a very decent side who are top of their league and unbeaten is brilliant.
“Jodie Bellinger was a different level. She has come straight out of U16 football, pretty much bypassed the Development team and come on today and scored a hat-trick.
“You can’t ask for much more than that from the girl.”
The Hatters have no fixture this weekend, but are back to league action the week after, away to Denham United.