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Belles

Belles 4 Bedworth United 1

27 September 2020

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The Belles turned on the style in front of their own fans as they ran out comfortable victors in their first home game of the season.

Kirsty Smith, Jasmine Saxton, Hannah McWilliams and Nadia Khan scored the goals as Andy Butler’s side built on the impressive battling opening-day draw at Boldmere St Michaels.

Saxton saw a low shot blocked before Smith, making her first competitive appearance of the season after missing the previous weekend’s match due to concussion protocols, fired the Belles ahead with the first good opportunity of the match.

Jess Andrew, back in a more familiar position in the attacking three supporting striker Saxton, laid the ball off for Smith who timed her run perfectly to fire a left-footed shot into a bottom corner from just inside the area.

Chances were coming thick and fast for the Belles, with Andrew just squeezed out before she could get a shot away and Saxton fired just wide after a breakaway down the left.

The Belles doubled their advantage after 19 minutes when Andrew lifted the ball over the visiting defence to send Saxton away and she cooly slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner.

Belles keeper Ellie Sharpe was called into action for the first time on the half-hour mark, but a low shot was straight at her.

Bedworth keeper Chloe Quinn was out well to intercept Saxton’s cross looking for Andrew, and was well placed to collect Andrew’s shot shortly afterwards.

Kirsty Farnworth got the visitors back into the game after 36 minutes, running into space and firing a low effort into the far corner.

Khan sent an effort wide, as did Farnworth for the visitors, in the closing stages of the half but the Belles maintained their advantage into the break.

Bedworth started the second period brightly, with only a goal-line clearance and good save from Sharp - denying Jodi Hunter - preserving the lead.

Xhena Dillon fired wide for the visitors after finding plenty of space to run into while Becca Sausby was down injured - she was replaced by Chloe Dean once play had stopped.

The Belles started to take control again after 55 minutes, with a great opportunity coming when Andrew was fouled just outside the area as she tried to get a shot away.

Smith stepped up to take the free-kick, sending an effort towards goal that Quinn smartly tipped over.

And two minutes later the lead was back to two goals. Scargill collected the ball of Dean and ran past the visiting left-back before providing a delivery for McWilliams to slide in and make it 3-1.

Khan thought she had made it 4-1 after 62 minutes, only to find her effort ruled out for offside. A frustrating spell got worse for the No.7 three minutes later when she was booked after kicking the ball away after being ruled offside.

The Belles had their tails up again, with Andrew looping an effort over before Khan did get the goal her play deserved after 75 minutes.

She broke down the right, beat the full-back again and smashed home an effort at the keeper’s near post.

Andrew shot at goal from a free-kick but her effort was too close to Quinn, while Saxton’s effort was also easy for the visiting keeper to collect.

But Saxton seemed to pull something while taking the shot, having to come off for the final 10 minutes - and, with Butler already having used all three substitutions available to him, with Phoebe Sneddon and debutant Emily Gillott already on, the visitors had a numerical advantage for the final stages.

The visitors enjoyed some of their best possession of the game as a result, with Hunter crashing a headed effort off the bar and Sharpe having to be alert to get out and block an effort from the same player.

 


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