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Arsenal 3 (Carter 35, Little pen 53, Nobbs 73) Doncaster Rovers Belles 1 (Smith 47)
Arsenal won their eighth consecutive FA WSL game, securing all three points to keep up the pressure on Liverpool at the top of the table.
The Belles came into the game on a high, following their first League victory on Thursday against Lincoln. They were aware, however, that Arsenal had beaten them 6-0 on their own turf the previous week.
The Gunners started on the front foot again, with Danielle Carter and Gemma Davison looking particularly dangerous for the home side. In fact, Carter struck the post in the tenth minute, picking up Ellen White's cross from the right and swivelling to skew her shot against the far post.
It was not until just before the half hour mark that there was another real chance. A run down the right by Davison led to Kim Little slipping Jordan Nobbs through on goal, but Lyndsey Cunningham was on hand to make a vital last ditch challenge.
The 31st minute brought a rare foray from Doncaster into the Arsenal half and Emma Byrne was almost embarrassed when she left Millie Bright's 30-yard effort, which, innocuous as it appeared, crashed back off the right hand post.
The deadlock was broken when the Belles failed to clear a corner from Little in the 35th minute. The ball found its way to Steph Houghton at the back post who slipped it to Carter for a simple finish.
Doncaster came out looking rejuvenated at the start of the second half and Sue Smith took advantage of Houghton's misplaced pass to fire past Byrne from 20 yards, leaving the Arsenal keeper with no chance.
The momentum of the visitors was killed in the 53rd minute though, after Carter turned Bright and drove into the opposing penalty area where she was brought down by Victoria Williams, making her return from injury. Little was cool from the spot and fired into the bottom left corner.
Arsenal made sure of the points when Nobbs slotted home White's cross, who drove inside from the right with ease.
Carter headed in from Alex Scott's cross in the 85th minute, but the assistant referee's flag saw her effort chalked off.
Arsenal: Emma Byrne, Alex Scott, Emma Mitchell, Katie Chapman (sub Caroline Weir 66mins), Ciara Grant, Steph Houghton, Gemma Davison, Jordan Nobbs, Ellen White (sub Freda Ayisi 87mins), Kim Little, Danielle Carter. Subs not used: Yvonne Tracy, Gilly Flaherty, Rachel Yankey, Cherie Rowlands.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Davies, Lyndsey Cunningham, Danielle Cox, Rhiannon Roberts, Victoria Williams, Kasia Lipka, Ashleigh Mills (sub Julie Melrose 72mins), Sue Smith, Leandra Little, Millie Bright, Katie Brusell (sub Lauren Cresswell 34mins). Subs not used: Emma Higgins, Naomi Chadwick, Lucy Sowerby, Jemma Purfield, Emma Johnson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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