The Eagles were in outstanding form on a red-hot afternoon in Sutton, playing delightful football on their way to recording their biggest-ever victory in front of another vocal crowd at the VBS Community Stadium.
Goals from Hayley Nolan and Molly Sharpe; a treble from Annabel Blanchard; and four from Hughes – taking her tally to five in three games this season – offered further cause for celebration, but Hughes knows tougher days will also be in store.
“I didn’t know it was our biggest ever win, but it probably doesn’t surprise me!” the forward admitted. “The performance was top from start to finish. Obviously, I’m buzzing to get the goals as well.
“We managed the conditions really well and I think that played a massive factor in why we won today. Nobody wants to play in the heat, but I think we maybe managed the conditions better and got the goals.”
Hughes added: “The win was about the standards we set for ourselves, each other… everyone holds each other accountable. You could see that.
“In the last minute, we were obviously disappointed to concede the Durham goal, and that just shows the standards we set for ourselves.
“We’ll continue to build on this performance from next week. We’ll reset ourselves starting now, ahead of [next weekend’s game at] Sunderland.
“This game’s over now – we can enjoy it, and we enjoyed playing it – but next week is another game and every game in the Championship is tough.”