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London Bees 1 (Whitter 18) Doncaster Rovers Belles 3 (Sweetman-Kirk 39,49)
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk struck twice as Doncaster Rovers Belles beat second-from-bottom London Bees to secure themselves a top two FA WSL 2 finish and promotion back to WSL 1 after two years away.
After draws in their previous two matches had delayed the promotion party, it looked like being third time unlucky too as the sides were locked at 1-1 at half-time with Sweetman-Kirk's strike cancelling out Emma Whitter's opener. But just moments after the restart Sweetman-Kirk struck again to guarantee Doncaster Rovers a top two FA WSL 2 finish.
Starting the match second in the league following Reading's 3-1 win at Watford earlier in the day, Doncaster had the better of the opening exchanges. But the Bees took the lead against the run of play after 18 minutes when Whitter ran in behind the Doncaster back line and lobbed a delicate half volley over Nicola Hobbs from ten yards out.
Sweetman-Kirk, top scorer in the WSL 2, started the game swapping between the flanks, but after the Bees scored she reverted to her usual central position and the change paid off as Doncaster equalised in the 38th minute, when Sweetman-Kirk ran onto Beth England's flick on and fired past a helpless Sophie Harris for her 21st league goal of the campaign.
The Belles started the second half sharply and took the lead just two minutes in when Aoife Hurley was dispossessed by Kasia Lipka who selflessly squared the ball to Sweetman-Kirk at the back post who calmly finished for her second of the game to give Doncaster the three points.
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Aoife Hurley, Jade Dempster, Billie Brooks, Katherine Huggins, Gemma Fraser, Ashleigh Goddard (sub Kate Bowers 80mins), Paige Wakefield (sub Kara Howes 76mins), Paula Howells (sub Leigh Nicol 85mins), Lucy Loomes, Emma Whitter. Subs not used: Imogen Riches, Sydney Hinchcliffe, Rebecca Anderson, Andria Georgiou.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Sophie Barker, Rhiannon Roberts, Leandra Little, Hope Knight, Emily Roberts (sub Sue Smith 67mins), Kasia Lipka, Jade Lorton-Radburn, Emily Simpkins, Bethany England, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk. Subs not used: Lyndsey Cunningham, Sam Tierney, Molly Johnson, Nicole Dale, Lauren Cresswell.
(Report by www.fawsl.com)
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