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Belles

Belles 5 Solihull Moors 0

2 February 2020

The Belles made it two wins from two with a five-star performance at home to Solihull Moors on Sunday.

Hannah McWilliams opened the scoring, before Jasmine Saxton and Chloe Starling saw the Belles go in 3-0 up at the break at Oxford Street.

Saxton added her second seven minutes after the interval, before Emily Burgin came off the bench to score three minutes from time to ensure the Belles moved 10 points clear of the bottom two.

The Belles took the lead on 12 minutes, with the second of their chances finding the back of the net brilliantly.

Nadia Khan broke into the box to shoot, only for Vitale to tip the ball onto the crossbar, though with the ball not really cleared well, the Belles pounced on the next phase.

Sophie Scargill’s brilliantly threaded through ball found McWilliams in space and she curled a lovely effort into the top corner to hand the hosts an early lead.

It was almost two less than sixty seconds later with Khan again causing problems for the Solihull defence; this time her cross for Saxton saw Vitale forced into making another save.

McWilliams was looking to add to her early goal, hoping to catch Vitale out with a couple efforts from distance, before then turning provider for Khan who saw her shot stopped on the line by the Moors’ stopper who was in for a busy afternoon.

The Belles weren’t to have it all their own way however, and the visitors came close to getting back on level terms as Kathryn Pagan met Annie Ackroyd’s cross from the right.

Ellie Sharpe had to be alert to make a smart save on her goal-line to ensure that the Moors couldn’t get back into the game.

Down the other end, Vitale’s goal was living a charmed life as Eva Madarang was next to try and get the Belles’ second, forcing the Solihull goalkeeper to tip her shot onto the post.

The Belles persistence did eventually pay off though as Saxton doubled the lead on 36 minutes, latching onto a McWilliams through ball to round Vitale and slot into an empty net.

Five minutes later it was three for the Belles, with captain Kirsty Smith’s corner perfectly placed for Chloe Starling to head into the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar.

The relentlessness carried on after the interval as Saxton doubled her own tally within seven minutes of the restart, carrying the ball into the penalty area and blasting the ball past Vitale and into the roof of the net.

Chloe Bethell and Charlotte Gill came off the bench and, like last week, were both in on the action straight away, with Bethell finding the side-netting after getting in behind down the right, before Gill set up Burgin to fire on goal, only to see her shot go just wide.

Burgin was looked to add the Belles’ fifth with a shot from distance as she found space 25 yards out, though Vitale was across well to tip the Belles’ no.9’s effort around the post.

Izzy Trevillion’s burst down the left flank almost paid off as she crossed for Burgin to shoot, though once again she shot wide, before a loose ball from the resulting goal-kick saw Vitale called into action once more, making a smart double save from Smith and Burgin once again.

Bethell was looking to make it two goals in two as she intercepted a free-kick and launched an audacious effort from distance, only to see her shot come crashing away off the crossbar.

Burgin did get in on the act with three minutes to go as she capitalised on another poor goal-kick, slotting in under the advancing Vitale to ensure that the Belles picked up their second win in a row.

The win sees the Belles move 10 points clear of their visitors, as well as moving up a place in to ninth in the FAWNL Division One Midlands, and they’ll be looking to maintain their good form as they travel to Sporting Khalsa next Sunday.


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