FORWARD Sophia Pharoah insist­ed Saints Women need to “focus on our­selves” as they blew the Cham­pi­onship pro­mo­tion race wide open with a 5–0 thrash­ing of Read­ing at St Mary’s.

The 23 year old and fel­low for­ward Katie Wilkin­son both struck twice for Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side who moved to with­in a point of lead­ers Sun­der­land with the resound­ing vic­to­ry.

The hosts were dom­i­nant through­out and the score­line could, in truth, have been much worse for the Roy­als on a dif­fi­cult after­noon for the strug­gling side.

Pharoah told the Dai­ly Echo: “I feel like we con­trolled the game from minute one today. It was just over­all a great per­for­mance from us.

“We didn’t let Read­ing have much of the ball and I think we con­trolled that well in and out of pos­ses­sion. I’m hap­py to con­tribute towards the team.

“We’ve tried to work on (cre­at­ing chances) this week. Just with the ball and being able to cre­ate chances.

“I feel like we showed that today by putting them in the back of the net as well and being clin­i­cal.

“It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing. I felt like we played with a lot of con­fi­dence, enjoy­ment, and free­dom with the fans cheer­ing us on. It’s such a push.”

With Sun­der­land and Crys­tal Palace both being beat­en by Lon­don City Lioness­es and Sheffield Unit­ed respec­tive­ly — Spacey-Cale’s side took full advan­tage in sen­sa­tion­al style.

Saints led 3–0 at the break through a Wilkin­son dou­ble and an Ella Mor­ris strike before Pharoah added a dou­ble of her own in the sec­ond half to com­plete the rout.

Pharoah, who has now scored eight goals in the Cham­pi­onship this sea­son, knows what Saints need to do if they are to achieve their goal of pro­mo­tion to the Wom­en’s Super League.

She added: “We have got to just take it game by game. We have to focus on our­selves because what we can con­trol is in our hands. We now have to go onto Black­burn for next week.”

Saints now have four games remain­ing this sea­son with two of those at home against Lewes on Sun­day, March 31 and Lon­don City Lioness­es on Sun­day, April 21.

They end their cam­paign with a trip to one of their pro­mo­tion rivals in Charl­ton Ath­let­ic, while the cur­rent top two Sun­der­land and Crys­tal Palace also face off on the final day.