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Liverpool 2 (Dowie 11, Fors 86) Doncaster Rovers Belles 0
Liverpool fought hard to secure all three points against Doncaster Rovers Belles with a 2-0 victory, goals from Natasha Dowie and Louise Fors in each half moving them five points clear at the top.
With the last meeting of the sides resulting in a 9-0 win for the Merseysiders, this clash seemed certain to provide a straightforward Liverpool win. Manager Matt Beard had used his programme notes to warn that would not be the case and was proved correct.
Doncaster have improved since the above mentioned result, as a win over Lincoln and 3-1 defeat by Arsenal suggest and they certainly provided their hosts with some worrying moments.
That was despite the league leaders going in front after 11 minutes. Katrin Omarsdottir headed a Belles goal kick back in the direction it came from and set winger Nicole Rolser away. The German drove in to the area and intelligently squared for Dowie to tap in her tenth goal of the season.
At that early stage it was too easy for the home team. On 24 minutes though they were almost stunned when Leandra Little looked set to level, only to shoot straight at Liverpool 'keeper Rachael Laws.
There was also the sight of Jess Sigsworth weaving into the home team's area, a fine Corina Schroder challenge thwarting her. From the resulting corner, Rhiannon Roberts saw her volley fly straight at Laws.
Such willingness to attack made Donnie's tag as the division's lowest scorers hard to explain. The visitors' high pressing was proving effective in harassing the hosts and Liverpool badly needed a second goal in order to relax.
The effective Rolser almost provided it after the turnaround when she spun away from her marker and shot just too high. Omarsdottir also headed wide after climbing well.
Amanda Da Costa was next to attempt to provide what would have been a relief inducing goal for the Reds. Sent through by a fine Rolser pass, the American midfielder's shot lacked the required power.
It all meant a nervous finale for Liverpool, who were grateful to see Fors follow up a rebound to bundle in the second goal four minutes from time.
Liverpool: Rachael Laws, Lucy Bronze, Corina Schroder, Fara Williams (sub Jess Holbrook 90mins), Gemma Bonner, Whitney Engen, Amanda Da Costa, Katrin Omarsdottir, Natasha Dowie (sub Kate Longhurst 90mins), Louise Fors, Nicole Rolser (sub Sarah Gregorius 90mins). Subs not used: Sarah Quantrill, Becky Easton, Ellie Stewart, Katie Zelem.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Davies, Danielle Cox, Lyndsey Cunningham, Victoria Williams, Rhiannon Roberts, Kasia Lipka, Ashleigh Mills (sub Lauren Cresswell 65mins), Sue Smith, Jess Sigsworth, Millie Bright, Leandra Little. Subs not used: Emma Higgins, Naomi Chadwick, Julie Melrose, Katie Brusell, Jemma Purfield, Emma Johnson.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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