A stunning six-goal second-half performance took Watford Ladies top of the FA Women’s National League South following a 6-2 thumping of Gillingham of Kings Langley.

Trailing 1-0 at the break yesterday, there was little hint of what was to come. But it took only six minutes of the second half for the Golden Girls to go in front and they proceeded to keep their foot on the throttle as the goals were shared between six different scorers to make it five successive wins.

Following her two-goal appearance from the bench in the victory at Portsmouth, Anaisa Harney was promoted to the starting line-up and Kat Huggins also returned to the team.

After goalkeeper Weronika Baranowska had denied Sammy Booker inside the opening minute, the visitors took the lead from the penalty spot when Ellie Manning converted a penalty after Sharna Giordani had been brought down.

A first half of few chances saw Watford create the first from open play in stoppage time when Harney fired off target.

But there was to be no lack of goalmouth action after the interval, with parity soon restored when Huggins equalised from a free-kick.

Having got back on terms, Armand Kavaja's side were soon in front when a quick counter-attack ended with Leanne Bell seeing a shot parried by the keeper, but Katie O’Leary made sure she got to the rebound first to convert.

Watford continued to turn the screw approaching the hour when Laura Baker fired past Courtney Shanly with a fine strike from the edge of the penalty area.

That was to the scorer’s last touch of the match but her replacement, Katie Ackerman, then got in on the act with a strike from even further out.

Gillingham reduced the deficit to two goals with 10 minutes remaining from their second penalty of the afternoon, Maddison Farrand converting on this occasion, but the three-goal cushion was quickly restored by skipper Helen Ward’s seventh goal in six matches.

Shanly did well to deny Andrea Carid and Ward, but she was unable to prevent Bell rounded off a superb second-half display when she headed home the sixth.

Watford FC Ladies: Baranowska; Peck, O’Halloran, Hill, Huggins, Baker (Akerman 60), Scanlon (Hallsworth 66), Bell, Ward, O’Leary, Harney (Carid 46). Subs not used: Bolland, Afuakwah.