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Doncaster Rovers Belles 5 (Bright 36, England 50, Smith 52, Sigsworth 58,63)
Reading Women 2 (Kirby 57,79)
Doncaster Rovers Belles thrashed promotion rivals Reading at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday evening, keeping their 100% start to the season intact.
A stunning strike from Millie Bright in the first half before a brace from Jess Sigsworth and goals from Sue Smith and Bethany England gave Gordon Staniforth's side a resounding 5-2 victory.
Reading began the livelier of the two sides and had the early chances when Rebecca Dandridge broke the offside trap but Nicola Hobbs saved well down to her right. Francesca Kirby then threated with a barnstorming run, skipping past the challenge of Lyndsey Cunningham and Rhiannon Roberts but Hobbs again was equal to it. Belles looked to exploit Jess Sigsworth's pace but the visitors were aware of the threat in the early stages.
The chance of the first half came after 16 minutes when Sue Smith was brought down outside the area. Lauren Cresswell, fresh from her brace against Oxford United, drilled the ball towards the far post where captain Leandra Little met it but powered a header just over the bar.
The home side were beginning to get into the game and went close when Bright headed straight at former Belles stopper Nicky Davies from Ashleigh Mills' cross. Great work from Smith and Cresswell then set up Sigsworth in the box but Davies tipped over. Sigsworth's pace was beginning to have the desired effect and led to two chances in quick succession.
Then the opening goal came in style when Mills laid the ball off to Bright who let fly from 35 yards with a strike that drilled past Davies into the back of the net, giving Belles a half time lead.
Reading boss Jayne Ludlow rang the changes at half time with two substitutions but was unable to prevent an inspired Belles side in the opening stages of the second half.
Beth England gave Staniforth's side a commanding lead when she poked home after a scramble in the box for 2-0. It was three moments later when Sigsworth broke free, Davies saved the initial shot but Smith was on hand to slot home her second of the season.
However, the team tipped as promotion rivals came back into the game and pulled a goal back through a great solo effort from Francesca Kirby. But there wasn't to be a fightback from the visitors as 40 seconds later Smith sent Sigsworth away. The striker skipped past a couple of tackles before finding the top corner from the edge of the box on 58 minutes.
Goals kept coming for the Belles on 63 minutes when Sigsworth grabbed her second of the game.
Her pace was too much for the Reading midfield before rifling into the top corner again from 18 yards to make it 5-1.
The visitors had their chances to get another goal back when Kirby picked the ball up in the box but Hobbs tipped her shot behind.
Hope Knight came on for her debut, replacing Sigsworth and could have made it six with her first touch but for a great last ditch tackle.
The game calmed down for the final fifteen minutes but Reading did get a second when the impressive Kirby scored again from close range.
Kirby almost bagged a hat-trick on 85 minutes but Hobbs prevented the striker her third of the evening.
Despite the late Reading surge, Belles held out for an impressive victory to remain top of WSL 2.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Lauren Cresswell (sub Victoria Williams 46ins), Kasia Lipka, Beth England, Millie Bright, Sue Smith, Ashleigh Mills (sub Naomi Chadwick 60mins), Jess Sigsworth (sub Hope Knight 72mins). Subs not used: Molly Johnson, Emma Johnson.
Reading Women: Nicola Davies, Ciara Grant, Kelly Chambers, Eartha Pond, Rebecca Jane, Francesca Kirby, Lauren Bruton (sub Leigh Nicol 62mins), Kirsty McGee, Molly Bartrip (sub Georgie Giddings 45mins), Melissa Fletcher, Rebecca Dandridge (sub Lois Roche 45mins). Subs not used: Alex Keown, Cheryl Williams, Shelly Cox.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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