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Doncaster Rovers Belles 1 (England 35) Everton 3 (Parris 39, V.Jones 71, Duggan pen 90)
Doncaster were made to rue missed chances as Everton left the Keepmoat Stadium with maximum points in this Continental Cup clash and a result which will take them through to the semi finals.
It was the Belles who started brightly and the first chance of the game fell to Millie Bright. The midfielder started a move when she played Beth England down the right wing. England played the ball to the returning Sue Smith, who teed up Bright perfectly. However, her shot from 25 yards whistled past the post.
The Belles were keen to take maximum points from this encounter and started the game as the better side. England thought she had opened the scoring after ten minutes, following a lovely turn in the area. The striker saw her effort from a tight angle cannon back off the bar, with Ashleigh Mills then adjudged to have fouled an Everton defender when battling for the rebound.
Despite not having the best of the opening exchanges, Everton were still posing a threat to the Doncaster backline. The livewire, Toni Duggan, was looking dangerous, but was well marshalled by Emma Thomson and Leandra Little. The hosts were happy to play on the counter attack, with Jess Sigsworth twice going on runs from her own half. On the first occasion, her pass was just behind the onrushing Mills and the attack died. However, on the second try Sigsworth decided to go solo, and fired narrowly wide from 25 yards.
Sigsworth however, would have a large part to play in the opening goal. Her through ball found England who raced through and finished superbly to give the Belles a well deserved lead after 35 minutes.
The lead however, was short lived as only four minutes later Everton equalised. Winger Nikita Parris spotted Hobbs off her line, and curled the ball home from 30 yards. It was a delightful goal, which Hobbs could do very little to prevent.
Doncaster started the second half as they did the first, and were very close to retaking the lead. Sue Smith, making her first start after returning from a long term injury, was played through on goal but saw her effort well saved by Durack.
The Everton keeper was being kept busy in the early stages after the interval. Ashleigh Mills was the next Belles' player to have an effort. The youngster broke into the area and elected to try and loft the ball over the goalkeeper but Durack did extremely well to stick up an arm and deny her. Sigsworth then muscled her way past two defenders before prodding wide. It was a difficult chance, as the striker had two defenders in close attention.
In an attempt to change the course of the game, Everton threw on two new faces in Handley and Kelly Jones. It was however, Vicky Jones who would have a defining impact. The Belles failed to clear a long throw, and Jones volleyed home from 12 yards leaving Hobbs with no chance.
Following this goal, Everton started to get more and more into the game. A corner fell to Kelly Jones, who saw her goalbound effort blocked on the line by Emma Thomson.
The Toffees extended their lead deep into injury time. Toni Duggan burst into the area and Lyndsey Cunningham looked to cleanly win the ball. However, the referee spotted an infringement and pointed to the spot. Duggan picked herself and confidently put the ball past Hobbs to ensure the three points would go back to Merseyside.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Ashleigh Mills (sub Jemma Purfield 87mins), Lyndsey Cunningham, Leandra Little, Victoria Williams, Kasia Lipka, Emma Thomson, Sue Smith, Jess Sigsworth, Millie Bright, Beth England.
Everton: Lizzy Durack, Vicky Jones, Alex Greenwood, Amy Kane, Julie Nelson (sub Jody Handley 63mins), Lindsay Johnson, Nikita Parris (sub Lucy Whipp 89mins), Jill Scott, Toni Duggan, Simone Magill (sub Kelly Jones 67mins), Brooke Chaplen.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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