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Belles

Birmingham and West Midlands 2 Belles 0

15 September 2019

The Belles suffered defeat in frustrating circumstances against Birmingham and West Midlands in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.

The hosts scored twice after the break to take three points at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground with the Belles not getting the rub of the green on Sunday.

The Belles started on the front foot, with debutant Eva Madarang finding Chloe Bethell in space, but her effort was saved well by Shannon Turner in the home goal.

Kirsty Johnson in the opposite goal would have to be alert moments later, with a long ball over the top finding Holly Rogers, but her effort from close range was saved by the Belles' no. 1.

Nadia Bacciochi would then go close for Birmingham and West Midlands, getting into space insdie the area before firing just wide of the post.

Johnson was being kept busy in the opening half hour, saving shots from Rogers and Bacciochi in quick succession to keep the hosts at bay.

She would be unable to do anything about the next shot, with Laura Cooper's long-range effort beating the dive of Johnson but not the post, with the ball eventually being claimed by the Belles stopper after hitting the woodwork.

Rogers had two chances to strike just before the break, firstly rattling the crossbar from the edge of the box after beating Rachel Taylor to the ball, before Johnson's save from another shot in added on time at the end of the half.

The hosts began well after the break, and Tori Thomas did well to force pressure onto Amelia Kirk, with the home substitute firing high and wide from inside the box.

Tanya Dickinson then curled the ball just wide from a corner, and the hosts were in the ascendancy as they looked to grab the opener.

Johnson and Bacciochi continued their personal battle, with the Birmingham and West Midlands striker seeing the Belles' goalkeeper down low to her left to tip the ball around the post.

Bacciochi would see another shot palmed around the post just four minutes later by Johnson, but from the resulting corner, the hosts would take the lead.

A corner from the right was swung in and Rogers finally got the goal she had been searching for, getting to the ball first in a crowd of bodies to head home.

The Belles came straight back though and were inches away from equalising seconds later, with substitute Kazia Walby seeing a header bounce off the post, with Madarang and Emily Burgin seeing follow-up efforts blocked.

Johnson down the other end was still being kept busy, and Jade Grove was the next home forward to see an effort stopped superbly from close range.

Johnson would produce an even better save a few minutes later with Dickinson taking aim from distance, only to find the Belles stopper on hand to tip over the bar.

Dickinson did get her goal with a minute left of normal time, looping the ball into the far corner after a clearance fell to her feet in plenty of space.

Another Belles' substitute Becca Austin would have the game's final chance with a shot from the edge of the box but Turner was on hand to claim the ball.

The Belles will now look to bounce back next weekend when they face another away trip, with Leicester United their next opponents in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.


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