Luton Town Ladies slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Gillingham Ladies in their FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One clash on Sunday.
Second half goals from Kallie Balfour (2), Lauren Davis and Lauren Williams saw Gillingham go level on points with Town with four games in hand after Zara Carroll was sent off in the first half.
Town had a boost ahead of the game with captain Shanice Jimenez back in the team after missing the last two games.
The Hatters had the first clear opening after nine minutes when Natasha Fensome whipped a dangerous ball into the box that found Erica Byron who shot just over.
Fensome was involved in another great chance moments later when she brilliantly skipped passed two Gillingham players to set up Byron but her low drive went inches wide.
Luton then suffered a massive blow in the 25th minute when midfielder Carroll received her second yellow card of the game and was sent off.
Before the break the home side piled the pressure on Town and Katie Hardaker saw her header take a deflection and rattle off the cross bar from a corner.
The action kept coming in the second half and Rachel Evans made a brilliant save early on to deny a Shannon Redhouse from the penalty spot after Rachel Kosky’s late challenge on Davis in the box.
The home side took the lead on the hour mark with a composed finish from Balfour, while she had a second 15 minutes later.
Hatters had a great chance to pull one back with terrific build up play from Joanne Rutherford who combined with Fensome to find Byron but Courtney Shanly made a fine save.
Davis made it 3-0 with a delightful chip past Evans on 80 minutes before Williams completed the scoring.
Manager Nikki Baker said: “I am extremely disappointed to lose and especially by that amount.
“Gillingham took their chances and we didn’t and with 11 players it would have been a completely different story.
“The girls became tired later in the second half, but I can’t fault their effort as they ran themselves into the ground.”
Hatters head to Denham United this weekend.
The club’s U16s beat Harvesters 3-2, with Jodie Bellinger getting a hat-trick.