It doesn’t get much better than a first-minute goal in a first-ever match at a new level of football . . . and what followed wasn’t bad either for St Ives Town Ladies yesterday.

Anna Hicks of St Ives Town Ladies battles with two Lawford opponents. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONAnna Hicks of St Ives Town Ladies battles with two Lawford opponents. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

Darren Marjoram’s side made a hugely impressive jump into Eastern Region Women’s League competition when dishing out a 6-1 drubbing to Lawford Ladies in their Division One curtain-raiser.

Tierney Coulson was the player to provide the instant breakthrough which was the first of four Saints goals during a dominant first-half display.

Coulson went on to complete a hat-trick when gratefully accepting a couple of simple late chances after Lawford had put up stronger resistance during the second period.

But they rarely looked troubled a Saints side who predictably warned plenty of plaudits from manager Marjoram for their opening offering.

St Ives Town Ladies striker Lauren Gibson is denied a second goal by the Lawford goalkeeper. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSONSt Ives Town Ladies striker Lauren Gibson is denied a second goal by the Lawford goalkeeper. Picture: LOUISE THOMPSON

He said: “We didn’t know what to expect in our first game at a higher level.

“We set out with the intention of making ourselves hard to beat, but getting a goal in the first minute was a great way to start the season.

“We built on that and took control of the game with my players showing they are prepared to be brave and creative in possession.

“We know we have the pace and power to score goals, but we could never have expected to win our opening game 6-1.

“To be honest it could have been even more as the Lawford goalkeeper pulled off some fantastic saves.

“We’ve set our standards with this result and performance.”

Coulson’s early goal was soon followed by the pick of Saints’ bunch from Amy Seymour-Shove as he stepped inside from the left and curled a terrific effort inside the far post.

It was almost as good as the famous promotion-winning goal scored by her older brother, Ben, for Saints’ men’s side in the Southern League Division One Central play-offs final of 2015/16.

Striker Georgia Stancombe then got in on the act before two substitutes combined for a fourth goal only seconds after being introduced as Caitlin Jarman’s low cross was tucked away by Lauren Gibson.

Lawford did grab a goal back early in the second half but a concerted fightback was never on the cards as Saints continued to threaten on a regular basis.

But for the brilliance of the visiting goalkeeper, their margin of victory would have been much greater, but Coulson did succeed in beating her twice in three minutes in the closing stages when putting away low cutbacks from Seymour-Shove and Katie Stancombe.

Saints go into Women’s FA Cup battle next Sunday (August 26) when hosting Corby Town Ladies at Westwood Road, 2pm.