A brace from Jasmine Saxton and a goal from Sophie Scargill saw the Belles defeat Bedworth United 3-2 in a rollercoaster of match in the FAWNL Division One Midlands at the Eco-Power stadium.
Andy Butler named an unchanged side from the team that drew to Peterborough United a week ago, as the team prepared for their final home game of the season.
Before the game, both teams and supporters paid tribute to long-time colleague and Club Doncaster Foundation stalwart Richard Bailey, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.
Both teams started on the front foot, with Saxton first to test the keeper. A great strike forced Parnell into a smart save at the legs before Bedworth counterattacked, seeing Farnsworth’s shot also well saved by Ellie Sharpe.
Five minutes later, the visitors nearly went in front, when a wicked corner by Alice Bates found Amanda Whalley unmarked but her header went wide of Sharpe’s goal.
However, the Belles did break the deadlock in the 25th minute, when a great pass by Sophie Scargill found Saxton one-on-one with Parnell and she coolly slotted it home for her 17th league goal of the season.
One became two just 30 seconds later - brilliant pressing by Andy Butler’s side saw the ball find Saxton, who beat two defenders and returned the favour by sliding in No.26 Sophie Scargill to calmly find the net in the 26thminute for her second of the season and her first goal since the end of August.
However, Bedworth responded well and just over 90 seconds later, Milly Miller was fouled in the box by Ellie Sharpe to give a penalty to Bedworth. Whalley stepped up to slot it home to make it 2-1.
On 32 minutes Saxton almost claimed her second, a fabulous cross by Breen saw the defender almost turn it into an own goal before Saxton’s follow-up shot was saved on the line. Seconds later, Tugby fired just over from six yards out.
At the other end Bedworth thought they had equalised on 41 minutes when Sharpe was acrobatic enough to catch a looping cross right under the crossbar but then fall onto the line, twisting enough to keep the ball out of the net.
Moments later Scargill nearly bagged her second of the game when her shot hit the bar with the keeper stranded, and Parnell in the Bedworth goal pulled off a brilliant save to deny Khan who has been put through by Tugby.
In the second half the Belles continued to press, with efforts from Scargill and Bell testing the Bedworth keeper, but not really imposing themselves on the opposition. However, Saxton did get her second of the game and 18th of the league season on 62 minutes, when a great pass by substitute Jess Price played her in to neatly slot the ball beyond Parnell into the right hand corner.
Play then became increasingly bitty as stoppages for injuries in the Bedworth team and substitutions disrupted the flow of the game. Saxton had another chance on 75 minutes when again she broke the Bedworth offside trap but was foiled by the Bedworth keeper who made a 35 yards dash to beat Saxton to the ball.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, Bedworth did pull a goal back when an inch-perfect through-ball found Kirsty Farnsworth who made no mistake with a composed strike into the corner of net to make it a nervy finish for the Belles.
Bedworth continued to press into added time but Andy Butler’s side held on at the end to make it four games unbeaten with two games remaining, starting with Long Eaton United next Sunday.