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Belles

Long Eaton 2 Belles 0

4 September 2019

The Belles suffered defeat on the road on Wednesday evening as they went down 2-0 at Long Eaton United in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.

After a goalless first-half, the hosts scored twice largely against the run of play to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, whilst the Belles were left to rue missed chances at a rain-sodden Grange Park.

It was the hosts who had the game's opening opportunity, with a long-distance effort from Long Eaton skipper Amy Pashley being tipped around the post by Kirsty Johnson in the Belles' goal.

Johnson would have to be alert a few minutes later with Lucie Johnstone this time taking aim, only to see Johnson hold the effort.

Laura Sears then found herself through on goal after a long ball over the top, however she was unable to maintain her composure and her shot from the edge of the box was high and wide of the Belles' goal.

Jasmine Saxton tried her best to get the Belles ahead after 20 minutes, with her powerful effort being spilled by home stopper Merie Schmid, with the Long Eaton defence clearing away before Lauren Breen could pounce.

Johnson was being kept busy in the visiting goal, this time denying Nicky Emery from close range after the striker beat the offside trap.

Emery was in plenty of space inside the Belles' penalty area but Johnson claimed the ball well to ensure the scores stayed level.

Tori Thomas was then at her best twice in the space of five minutes with two last-ditch bits of defending, first getting back to stop Hannah Barber's shot from coming to anything with a superb sliding tackle.

She was then back on the line to block another effort from Emery after she got to the ball ahead of Johnson, but Thomas was able to put the ball behind for a corner after getting behind the shot.

Johnson pulled off two more great saves from Sears and Pashley to ensure that the two sides headed into the break level, and it would be the Belles who started the more lively after the interval.

Good work down the Belles' left between Saxton and Breen saw the latter take aim towards goal, only for the skipper to send the ball just wide of the post.

Breen's next effort would once again see Schmid in the home goal scrambling, she fumbled the initial effort before eventually claiming the follow-up.

However, the Belles would be dealt a blow as the hosts took the lead against the run of play 13 minutes into the second period, with a break down the left seeing the ball played into the path of Sears.

The Long Eaton no.7 took a touch to set herself inside the Belles' penalty area before firing low across Johnson and into the corner to hand her side the lead just shy of the hour.

This didn't deter the Belles however and Emily Burgin was next to take aim at Schmid's goal, her effort from 20 yards though went wide of the near post.

Long Eaton would double their lead with 20 minutes left to play, with Kirsty Allen latching onto a ball over the top of the Belles defence and looping the ball over Johnson to extend the hosts' advantage.

The Belles will now look to get back to winning ways on Sunday with another quick turn-around before their next league game as they host Sporting Khalsa at Oxford Street.


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