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Belles

Belles 1 Sheffield 4

25 August 2019

The Belles suffered defeat in a South Yorkshire derby after a 4-1 loss to Sheffield FC in the FAWNL League Cup determining round.

Zoey Shaw's side led at the interval, but four goals after the break saw the Northern Premier Division outfit progress through to the next round, but the scoreline was perhaps harsh on the Belles who put on a good show at the Keepmoat Stadium.

It was the visitors who had the first opportunity to open the scoring, with Lisa Giampalma seeing an effort go just over the cross bar from the edge of the box.

The Belles came straight back with and effort of their own, Abby Watkinson being fed through and shooting on goal, only for her shot to crash off the post and behind via the side-netting.

Sheffield would hit the post with the next attack, with Molly Johnson striking the base of the post from inside the box before the ball was cleared away from danger.

Hannah McWilliams and Jasmine Saxton combined for the Belles' next attempt, with Serena Clarke saving well from Saxton after a shot across the face of goal.

Both keepers were being tested and Kirsty Johnson had to be alert to Tania Marsden's inadvertant attempt on goal, with the Belles stopper palming the ball behind with the effort looking destined for the top corner.

From the next attempt, the Belles would take a somewhat deserved lead, with a ball out to the right finding Kazia Walby who burst forward.

She drove towards the penalty area and crossed low for Saxton who took a touch before firing low into the far corner from the tightest of angles to send the Belles in to the interval ahead.

It wouldn't be long after the break until the scores were level, with Marsden fending off the challenge of Izzy Trevillion in the area before poking the ball under Johnson to get Sheffield back on level terms.

The visitors would then cruelly go ahead with the next attack, the ball bobbling about in the penalty area before finding the feet of Milly Wortley who found the back of the net via the inside of the post.

The Belles came straight back at their rivals, with Watkinson latching on to Saxton's flick-on and shooting on goal from distance, though she was unable to find the corner of the goal as the ball drifted agonisingly wide.

Skipper Lauren Breen did her best to get her side back level with an effort from distance with four minutes left on the clock, but like Watkinson before her, she was inches away from finding the far corner.

The unfortunate killer blow came as the clock struck 90 minutes, with Molly Johnson's powerful effort from inside the box finding it's way into the back of the net for the visitors' third.

Their fourth of the afternoon came in the fifth minute of injury time, with Molly Johnson again getting on the scoresheet, with what looked like a cross somehow creeping into the near corner to seal Sheffield's progression into the first round proper of the FAWNL League Cup.

A 4-1 scoreline was perhaps very harsh on Shaw's side who can hold their heads high after playing much of the better football against opposition in the tier above, and they will now compete in the league plate competition following defeat at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The Belles now face two away games in four days, with a trip to Solihull Moors on Sunday September 1, followed by Wednesday September 4's visit to Long Eaton United, both in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.


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