Durham Women began their FA WSL Academy Cup campaign with a 5-1 victory over Everton in the first leg of their Round One tie.
Hannah Greenwood and Megan Elliott both struck before the break, with Erin Nelson, Erin Nicholson and Jess Mett rounding-off the scoring in the second half.
Holly McEvoy netted a late consolation, with the sides set to meet in the second leg at the end of the month.
It was the Toffees who actually threatened first with goalkeeper Brooke Mackain having to gather Lois Moore’s powerful drive at the second attempt.
But after dealing with some early pressure, the Wildcats took the lead when Greenwood volleyed home at the back post following Nicholson’s corner.
That saw Everton spring into life with Moore agonisingly close to connecting with a cross before Abby Clarke sent an effort straight at Mackain.
The game quietened down after that point, but it was Durham who looked the more likely despite the lack of chances in open play.
And so it was no surprise that it was another set piece that yielded the second goal as another Nicholson delivery confusion – with Elliott reacting quickest to turn the ball home.
Mett could have made it three before the break only to fire over from 20 yards, but the hosts wouldn’t have to wait long for a third.
It came from the lively Nelson who kept her cool to slot home after being put through on goal on 58 minutes.
Everton continued to push forward with Moore in particular looking a threat, but the Durham backline held strong while ensuring the side’s attacking players could continue to shine.
And shine they did, with a fourth coming when Nicholson – who had played provider all afternoon – became scorer, bringing down a free-kick before slotting it beneath the goalkeeper.
There was time for a fifth too, with Mett sliding home from close range after a driving run from Crosthwaite.
Everton would net what could prove to be a crucial away goal late on as McEvoy rifled home from inside the box, but their late attempts for a second were thwarted by Durham.
The two sides will lock horns in Widnes on September 29 in the second leg of the clash.
Durham: Greenwood 11, Elliott 39, Nelson 58, Nicholson 66, Mett 78
Everton: McEvoy 85