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Aston Villa 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 5 (Barker 24, R.Roberts 35, E.Roberts 45, Smith 90, Sweetman-Kirk 90)
Aston Villa suffered their second defeat of the WSL 2 season against an impressive Doncaster Rovers Belles side at Coles Lane.
Three first half goals sent the visitors on their way and gave the hosts a mountain to climb.
Villa started the brighter with Olivia Fergusson in the thick of the action early on. Her persistence won a corner, which centre-back Jade Richards headed just off target. Richards was just as important at the other end, blocking Kasia Lipka's goalbound effort as Belles grew into the content. The unfortunate Fergusson had to be withdrawn through injury, with Beth Merrick taking her place.
After a Saturday full of fine strikes in the Barclays Premier League, the visitors continued the trend as Sophie Barker gave them the lead after 24 minutes with a stunning half volley from 25 yards.
The home side did not let their heads drop and won a corner almost from the restart. Alicia Robinson was inches away from netting her third goal in two matches but Doncaster stopper Nicola Hobbs was able to punch her corner to safety.
At the other end, goalkeeper Jess Myers, in for Caitlin Leach away on England U19s duty, pulled off a fine save from Emily Roberts' effort. The Belles doubled their advantage from the resultant corner, though, as Rhiannon Roberts headed home.
From another Sue Smith set piece, Rovers made in three just before the break as Roberts' namesake Emily headed home Smith's free kick.
The experienced Smith continued to pull the strings in the second 45 minutes. Villa's best opportunity fell to Kerri Welsh who saw her low effort saved after Merrick had tricked her way around the visitors' backline.
Substitute Maddy Cusack brought some much needed attacking impetus into the claret and blues' play but they could not find a breakthrough.
Two goals in stoppage time, the first from Sue Smith and a stunning strike from 45 yards courtesy of the lively Courtney Sweetman-Kirk completed the scoring.
Aston Villa: Jess Myers, Hayley Crackle, Jade Richards, Emily Owen (sub Maisie Baker 75mins), Hannah George, Olivia Fergusson (sub Beth Merrick 23mins), Sherry McCue, Alicia Robinson (sub Maddy Cusack 62mins), Kerri Welsh, Abi Cottam, Katie Wilkinson. Subs not used: Elisha N'Dow, Lauren Haynes, Katy Moran.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Lyndsey Cunningham, Leandra Little, Rhiannon Roberts, Lauren Cresswell (sub Sophie Stamp 63mins), Beth England (sub Hannah Dale 81mins), Kasia Lipka, Sophie Barker (sub Hope Knight 63mins), Sue Smith, Emma Roberts, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk. Subs not used: Molly Johnson, Reanne Thomas, Samantha Tierney.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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