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Belles

Belles 0 Birmingham and West Midlands 2

15 March 2020

The Belles were unable to get back to winning ways as they lost 2-0 at home to Birmingham and West Midlands on Sunday.

The visitors scored through Rhiannon Travers and Tanya Dickinson in the second half as they took three points away from Oxford Street in the FAWNL Division One Midlands.

Andy Butler made one change from last weekend's game with Wolves, with captain Kirsty Smith missing through injury, being replaced by the returning Fiona Berry who stepped up to the plate in midfield.

The Belles had the first effort of the game inside three minutes, with Sophie Scargill sending the ball over the top for Eva Madarang, though her shot was blocked away.

Chloe Starling, captain for the afternoon, had the Belles' next chance from a corner moments later, finding space after Madarang's ball in, but she could only fire over from inside the area.

The Belles then thought they had taken the lead on 10 minutes as a cross by Madarang was flicked on by Jasmine Saxton and into the path of Hannah McWilliams.

McWilliams' volleyed superbly into the corner, however the ball was brought back for an apparant handball by Saxton.

The visitors had their first real effort on 26 minutes, with Dickinson taking aim from range, though she was unable to keep her shot the right side of the post.

Shan Turner in the Birmingham goal had to be alert to deny Saxton a goal after the Belles' forward turned on the edge of the area, with the visiting stopper doing well to turn the ball around the post.

Dickinson was looking to take aim from distance at every opportunity, with an effort from the edge of the box this time comfortably placed into the arms of Ellie Sharpe.

The Belles would have the final chance of the opening 45 minutes, with another Madarang corner being met in the middle by McWilliams, however she could only head just wide of the post.

The visitors started the second period a lot stronger and Jade Grove signalled their intentions with an early shot that went just wide, before Millie Kirk forced Sharpe into making a smart save.

The opening goal did come on 54 minutes however, with Travers pouncing on a loose ball in the area from a Dickinson free-kick and poking beyond Becca Sausby on the line.

Butler made a change straight after the goal, with Nadia Khan coming on for Madarang, and that switch almost paid dividends immediately with the substitute linking up with Saxton twice in quick succession.

The first chance saw Khan unable to poke the ball into the bottom corner under the advancing Turner, before Saxton's low ball moments later narrowly evaded Khan on the stretch.

The Belles felt they should've had a penalty with just over 20 minutes remaining as Starling was brought down in the box, though the referee waved away strong appeals from the home side.

Sausby saw a free-kick deflected wide by a defender down one end before Grove fired over from 20 yards down the other as the game opened up heading into the final stages.

The visitors killed the game off in the fourth minute of added time with Kirk's cross finding its way to Dickinson who cut onto her left foot and curled a brilliant effort into the far corner to seal three points for the second-placed side.


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