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Belles

Holwell Sports 0 Belles 3

4 October 2020

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The Belles bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a comfortable victory at Holwell Sports which moved them up to third in the table.

Hannah McWilliams, Jess Andrew and Nadia Khan scored the goals that sealed the three points - although the Belles will have felt their first-half dominance should have been rewarded with more goals.

The foundations of the victory were laid in the opening exchanges, with the Belles coming flying out of the blocks as they wanted to prove Tuesday’s loss at Lincoln was a one-off.

Andrew rattled the woodwork as early as the third minute. Lily Harrison, elevated into the starting XI after impressing off the bench in midweek, saw her effort parried away by stand-in Holywell goalkeeper Kate Connor but kept the play alive. Her delivery found Andrew, who rattled the ball off the crossbar.

Two minutes later, though, and the Belles were ahead. Kirsty Smith’s perfectly-timed pass found McWilliams, who shot early and caught Connor out.

The Belles enjoyed plenty of attacking possession, and Andrew should have scored when she got on the end of a Smith corner but her effort was too close to Connor.

She did make it 2-0 with her second of the season after 26 minutes. Becca Sausby’s ball down the line set Harrison away - and although Connor got there first, her clearance was only as far as Andrew who took a touch before lofting the ball over the stranded home keeper and into the back of the net.

History almost repeated itself moments later as a clearance again fell to Andrew, but this time a defender was closer to the midfielder and her low effort went wide.

Connor had to be alert to punch away a long-range effort from Sophie Scargill, with Harrison sending an effort wide from the corner.

McWilliams could not have been closer to her second goal of the game when she slid in to get on the end of Smith’s deep cross. The ball came off the inside of the near post and rolled the full length of the goal before Connor gathered the ball, but only after kicking it against her own defender who was rushing back to clear.

The Belles were forced into their first change when Izzy Trevillion came off after taking a knock during a challenge, with Nadia Khan coming on in her place.

And Khan scored little over a minute after entering the field, after Andrew’s pass bypassed the home defence and sent the No.7 though on goal - she cooly slotted the ball into the far corner.

With such a dominant opening half, it as perhaps inevitable the Belles would be pegged back in the second period as the home side looked to restore pride.

Chances were harder to come for at either end of the pitch, although the home side created some good chances in the closing stages with Natalie Hurst heading their best effort over the bar.

Belles manager Andy Butler sent on Amber-Leigh Denny and Emily Gillott as he rotated his players, mindful this was a third game in eight days for the squad.

And although they could not find any more goals to add gloss to the scoreline, the result gets the positive start to the season back on track.

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