AN ABBY Picton hat-trick ensured Swindon Town Ladies made it through to the third round of the Women’s FA Cup for only the second time in their history with a 3-2 win away at Exeter.

The striker made sure Town got off to the perfect start as she converted a Kirsty Shell cross after only three minutes, but they were pegged back on 10 minutes as Exeter levelled things up at 1-1.

That is how it stayed as the half-time whistle blew, but the Wiltshire side started the second period slowly on a heavy pitch at Devon FA Headquarters and slipped behind within minutes of the game getting underway again.

The goal sparked Town into life, and they were soon rewarded with a goal from Abby Picton which made it 2-2.

The visitors kept on pressing, and we rewarded with a winner seven minutes from time as Picton once again slotted home to complete her treble.

Swindon had to defend superbly during the final minutes to secure their place in round three, much to the delight of manager Glyn Evans.

He said: “The players deserved to go through after working so hard from start to finish, and what a day for the club to progress again into the next round.”

The club’s reward for reaching round three is a home draw against Gillingham.