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Chester-Le-Street Town 4 Belles 2

6 October 2019

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The Belles exited the Women's FA Cup at the second qualifying round stage after a harsh defeat away at Chester-Le-Street Town on Sunday.

The hosts lead early on before goals from Emily Burgin and Chloe Bethell turned the game on its head.

Division One North Chester-Le-Street fired back and hit three second-half goals to progress through to the next round at Moor Park.

The Cestrians took the lead on seven minutes with the first real opening of the game, with Nichole Havery evading the offside trap before keeping her composure to fire under Kirsty Johnson.

The Belles came back though and had two chances to level within five minutes, firstly Nadia Khan saw a shot saved by Stephanie Jones in the home goal from close range, before Eva Madarang headed wide from a Kirsty Smith corner.

Madarang caused panic in the Chester-Le-Street defence with a long ball forward from the Belles' next attack, with Jones left stranded well out of her area and Burgin pounced to nick the ball round the stopper before slotting into an empty net to level.

Chester-Le-Street came forward and Johnson would have to be alert a minute later with Elizabeth Thompson-Clarke looking to find the bottom corner, but the Belles' no.1 was across well to save.

Johnson was being kept busy in the visiting goal and had to adjust to reach Laura Hockaday's shot from the edge of the box after Chloe Starling's deflection.

Hockaday would get another chance just after the half-hour mark as she broke through on goal after beating Tori Thomas to the ball but again Johnson would be across well to save.

The hosts would go even closer on 39 minutes, with Tiegan Hutchinson's free-kick bouncing off the wall and into the path of home captain Anna Collin.

Collin took aim from all of 25 yards and Johnson could only stand and watch as her effort came crashing off the crossbar.

After the break, it was the Belles who started the brighter, and on 53 minutes it would be the visitors who took the lead for the first time in the game.

A long ball forward from Smith was handled by Katie Ellison, though the referee Karl Barron played the advantage with Khan beating the home defender to the ball.

Khan squared the ball across the face of goal and into the path of Bethell and her first-time shot into the far corner saw the Belles lead.

It would be a lead that lasted all of four minutes though as the Belles conceded a penalty to the hosts, with Smith slipping in the area and inadvertently handling the ball - Havery picked the ball up and sent Johnson the wrong way to equalise.

Havery completed her treble with just over 20 minutes of the game remaining, once again seemingly beating the offside trap and getting the better of Johnson one-on-one.

From the next attack, the hosts killed off the contest with a bizarre goal from a corner over on the right.

The ball was played low to the edge of the box and into the path of substitute Katie Elson who looped the ball into the far corner to catch out Johnson.

Try as they might, luck wouldn't be in the Belles' favour as Smith fed the ball through for Madarang as they went in search of getting a goal back, though Jones stood firm to save from the Filipina international from just inside the area.

The Belles will now look to get back to winning ways in the FAWNL Division One Midlands on Wednesday night when they host Lincoln City at Oxford Street as they finally return home after four games on the road.

Tickets for Wednesday night's game against Lincoln City are available from

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