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Glen Harris' tenure at Doncaster Rovers Belles got off to a solid, if unspectacular start with a comfortable 3-0 win over London Bees.
Goals from Bethany England, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Sue Smith saw off the visitors at Keepmoat Stadium to advance to the fourth round of the FA Women's Cup. The visitors weren't without their chances in a close first half but the Belles proved superior in a one-sided second period.
Amber Gaylor had the best chance of the opening encounters, shooting wide of Nic Hobbs' goal after a lapse in the Belles defence. Courtney Sweetman-Kirk went very close to opening her account at the other end but could only head over after a great ball from the right.
Sue Smith then showed her class, dancing around Bees' defenders before a last ditch tackle prevented her putting the Belles in front. Captain Leandra Little powered a header over the bar as Glen Harris' side began to take the game to the visitors.
Bees were showing to be an improved outfit from last season and threatened to take the lead on the break but for great covering from Lyndsey Cunningham. Aoife Hurley was on hand for the visitors to prevent a lurking Sweetman-Kirk tapping home just before the break.
The Belles came out for the second half in inspired fashion with Kasia Lipka's shot somehow staying out after hitting the post and rolling across the goal line.
It wasn't long before the first goal of Glen Harris' reign came when Rhiannon Robert's looping cross was flicked home by the head of England.
It was 2-0 shortly after, England sent Smith down the left before the winger played a super ball across the box for Sweetman-Kirk to tap home. The two-goal cushion gave the Belles freedom to play with Sweetman-Kirk seemingly boosted by her first goal of the season.
Fresh from her England Under-19 camp, Ashleigh Mills came off the bench and caused problems throughout winning a free kick just outside the area. Smith stepped up and, despite getting a hand to it, Sophie Harris couldn't keep it out and the Belles were 3-0 up.
Fluidity had entered the Belles play and Harris somehow kept out England's cross which almost crept in to the near post.
Despite the dominance, there were no more goals, and the Belles are safely in the hat for the next round.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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