Norwich City Women’s head coach Martin Herdman described his side’s thumping 5-1 victory over Actonians as his “favourite win so far” as the Canaries brushed aside potential promotion rivals.

City had suffered heavy defeats on their previous two visits to Rectory Park, but were the team inflicting the damage on this occasion as they recorded their fourth away triumph of the season.

A brace from Megan Todd and an impressive Lauren Tomlinson strike had the visitors in a comfortable position at the break, before further efforts from Katie Knights and Olivia Cook ensured the three points headed back safely to Norfolk.

“What a result,” declared a happy Herdman. “I mean, 5-1 against Actonians – they’re a strong, physical outfit.

“We could have got dragged into that today, but we didn’t, and I think we managed the moments really well where we could have lost our head. Some tasty challenges, but we stayed composed.

“That for me is my favourite win so far, and by the end of the season I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be up there, just because it was a bit of a war really!

“We knew it was going to be, but to come away from home and win 5-1 is incredible so I’m really proud of them.”

Interestingly, City were awarded a penalty for the fourth successive game on Sunday, with designated taker Todd again making no mistake from 12 yards.

When asked if he felt his team had been fortunate to receive so many spot-kicks recently, Herdman said: “I think you make your own luck, and we were in their half (for) pretty much 70-per cent of the game today. We’ve dominated the ball in their half.

“When you’re playing passes through, sliding passes, and we’re crossing balls in, concentration drops.

“They are penalties I think. I think there was one maybe a few weeks ago where you could probably talk, but that one there was for me blatant.

“We make our own luck, and there were a couple at the beginning of the season where we were screaming and we didn’t get them, so yeah, we deserve everything we get right now.”

As well as Todd, central midfielder Knights really stood out for City in west London, flourishing in a more advanced role than the one she has typically been deployed in under Herdman.

“To score five goals away from home is amazing,” Knights said.

“I think we’ve built on that this season from last year, and Martin said we’ve already now won three away (league) games, matching last year, so we’re going in the right direction which is obviously really good.

“Today I wanted to get forward as much as I could because I was playing next to Ellie Smith, so I wanted to get in and around it. I asked Tash (Snelling) to play me in, and she did, so yeah, a nice little finish there.

“When you’ve got Eloise Morran behind you, you feel like you can get forward – she’s class. That’s definitely the mentality I went in with. I wanted to get forward, get some shots away, and yeah, I think I did that.”

Twenty two different players have featured for the Canaries across their first seven competitive matches, with a few more still to return from injury, but Knights believes City’s large squad has been a help rather than a hindrance so far.

She said: “Obviously there’s a lot of us so the competition for places is really high, but I think we push each other to improve and we are a close-knit team.

“I think we’re building on that week-by-week. I think you can see today, we’re probably starting to reach the levels we want to continue and play at.

“We’re buzzing with that and long may it continue.”

Norwich City (4-1-4-1): Quantrill; Parker, Strauss, Flye (Larkins 67), Tomlinson (Shaw 81); Morran; Todd, Knights, Smith (Daviss 75), Lawrence (Symonds 71); Snelling (Cook 75).