Watford Ladies won their first game back after the summer break, triumphing 5-4 over London Bees in an enthralling game at The Hive.
Kate Natkiel bagged a hat-trick with Emma Beckett and Renee Hector also on target as the Lady Hornets won their second WSL2 match of the campaign.
The Bees would hit back from 2-0 to 2-2 and from 5-2 to 5-4, but the three points rightfully went to the visitors.
Watford started the game with a purpose and it only took 10 minutes for the Golden Girls to take the lead. Cally Rowell’s free-kick picked out Beckett who powered her header home emphatically.
The lead was doubled after 17 minutes when the Bees failed to deal with Rowell’s corner and it fell nicely to Hector who fired in from 12 yards.
The Bees hit back with two quick-fire goals to level things up, but Watford regained the lead when Natkiel’s cross-cum-shot looped into the corner for 3-2.
Watford pressed at the start of the second half and the fourth goal duly arrived after 54 minutes when Natkiel smashed home her second.
And it was 5-2 on the hour mark with Natkiel completing her hat-trick.
The Bees hit back with two goals inside the last 10 minutes, but the Watford defence held firm to secure an important victory.
Watford manager John Salomon was pleased with his side’s efforts. “It’s good to be able to get three points,” he said.
“It was a great game and it is good to be back.
“I think it’s really important to get those first three points on the board straight away which we’ve done now so we can build from here.
“She definitely meant it! [Natkiel’s first goal]. The second goal was a real good strike and the third goal is her getting into the types of areas that we’re working on in training to try and get her on the scoresheet more.
“I’m really pleased for her because she works really hard through the games, it’s good to see her getting in the goals.”