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Women's Football News
Doncaster Rovers Belles 0 Sunderland 2 (Mead 5, Furness 24)
Doncaster Rovers Belles fell to their first defeat of the season as Sunderland left the Keepmoat Stadium with three points in the Continental Cup.
The first chance of the game came for the home side as Sue Smith broke down the left and delivered the cross but Sunderland cleared easily.
Then a brilliantly worked move from the visitors brought about the first goal on four minutes. Some great play in midfield sent Beth Mead clear and she made no issues in smashing the ball past Nicola Hobbs.
The goal boosted Sunderland who dominated the early stages. Emma Kelly and Abbey Joice were causing Gordon Staniforth's side problems alongside Mead as they looked to get a second through a succession of corners.
The home side were showing signs of fight though as Bethany England fired a vicious volley into the side netting before sending a free kick just wide of the mark.
But the visitors doubled their lead on 24 minutes when a free kick floated into the box was flicked past Hobbs by Rachel Furness for 2-0.
Jess Sigsworth and Sue Smith were trying to make things happen for the Belles but Sunderland answered all the questions at the back. Mead again threated on the break and almost made it three when she shot over before Kelly McDougall did the same as the Belles went in 2-0 down at the break.
The Belles came out fighting in second half and almost made a great start but substitute Victoria Williams could only head Reanne Thomas's corner straight at Rachael Laws.
Laws then pulled off a great save to deny Sigsworth before Smith struck the bar. Smith had the golden chance to pull a goal back on 59 minutes when she broke the offside trap but Laws again came to Sunderland's aid. Thomas then saw a header cleared off the line as the referee waved away a penalty shout from Ashleigh Mills.
Belles should have had one back after great play from Mills meant the ball eventually fell to Thomas but she could only head over from close range. Kasia Lipka's long range effort was easily seen over the bar by Laws as the visitors looked comfortable to see the game out.
Smith then latched on to a good ball forward but her shot could only be deflected out for a corner.
Substitute Hope Knight headed onto the bar from Smith's cross, as the Belles couldn't turn their second half dominance into a goal. Sunderland held on for victory to condemn the Belles to their first defeat in six games.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Lauren Cresswell (sub Victoria Williams 45mins), Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Kasia Lipka, Reanne Thomas (sub Hope Knight 76mins), Sue Smith, Jess Sigsworth, Millie Bright, Beth England (sub Ashleigh Mills 45mins).
Sunderland: Rachael Laws, Abby Holmes, Victoria Greenwell, Rachel Furness, Steph Bannon, Gemma Wilson, Keira Ramshaw, Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead, Emma Kelly (sub Megan Beer 72mins), Abbey Joice (sub Charlotte Potts 80mins).
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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