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Belles

REPORT | Wem Town 0 Belles 3

23 April 2023

Belles

REPORT | Wem Town 0 Belles 3

23 April 2023

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Belles claimed the points in their last away game of the season courtesy of goals from Holly Housley, Shelbey Morris, and a first senior goal for Abi Coley.

Following a late withdrawal by Izzy Trevillion due to illness, Belles manager Nick Buxton brought Ryley Johnson into the starting line-up, with Shelbey Morris returning to the squad on the bench.

On a wet and grey day in Shropshire, and on a heavy pitch, Belles started the brighter and after four minutes had the first of two good early chances when Liv Harness put a ball into the box for Sophie Brown, but Wem 'keeper Amelia Knowles did well to collect bravely at the Belles' striker's feet.

A minute later, Holly Housley down the left put in a great cross to the back post for Mollie Barlow to meet with a strong header that went just over the crossbar. Belles continued to force the pace of the game and on fifteen minutes Brown was again in the action when she headed a Jess Andrew free-kick goalwards, only for Knowles to get down quickly and collect at the foot of the post.

In response Wem Town had only a corner to show for their efforts as Belles dominated possession with attacking intent, but the hosts should really have taken the lead on twenty-four minutes when Belles lost the ball on the halfway line and Kim Bebbington broke forward down the left. The Wem captain put in a great ball along the six yard line for Katie Doster to fire in but the number 10 missed her shot with only Belles 'keeper Ellie Sharpe to beat.

As the rain started to get heavier, that miss was to prove decisive as Belles continued their pressure and on thirty-two minutes took the lead when Knowles was only able to divert a pinpoint corner from HOLLY HOUSLEY into her own net. 

The game then continued towards half-time with Belles dominating and Wem looking to attack on the break, but despite the efforts of the busy Lindsey Tugby in midfield there were no further clear chances for the visitors, who took their one-goal lead into the half-time break.

Following the re-start and with the rain having stopped, Belles were unlucky not to go two up on forty-seven minutes when Brown out on the right pulled the ball back for Johnson to put in a low cross across the face of goal that evaded Knowles and her defence with the in-coming Abi Coley just unable to get the finishing touch.

As Wem looked to get back into the game, Sharpe had to be alert to a free-kick shot at goal that she collected safely, but with the Belles backline increasingly able to soak up any Wem pressure, the game went into a period of stalemate with neither side able to carve out clear-cut chances.

On sixty-two minutes Belles manager Nick Buxton looked to freshen things up as players started to tire on the heavy pitch, with Freya Rattenbury replacing Ryley Johnson, and ten minutes Shelbey Morris came on for Mollie Barlow.

Five minutes later Belles doubled their advantage with a fine move when Izzy Gigg and Emily Cahill combined to win back possession in midfield. Cahill passed to Brown who put a ball in behind the defender for Morris to run on to. Under pressure, Morris then slid the ball into the path of ABI COLEY to take on and cooly finish from twelve yards into the top left hand corner for her first senior goal for Belles.

With the two-goal cushion and the hosts visibly tiring, Belles continued to press for a third and it duly came in the eighty-sixth minute when Gigg picked up the ball in her own half and drove forward some forty yards, laying the ball off for SHELBEY MORRIS coming in on the right to take a touch and plant an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box into the top far corner of the net.

With the game now seemingly won, Nick Buxton replaced Brown and Coley with Eliza Bedford and Natalie Banaszczyk to see the game out. However, Belles continued to press and in added-time thought they should have had a penalty for handball in the box from a corner, but the referee turned the strong claims down and moments later blew the final whistle for Belles to win the game and take the three points on the long road back home.

***

Team: Sharpe, Andrew ©, Harness, Housley, Johnson (Rattenbury 62mins), Cahill, Tugby, Gigg, Coley (Bedford 87mins), Brown (Banaszczyk 87mins), Barlow (Morris 73mins).

Subs unused: -

Goals: Housley 15mins, Coley 79mins, Morris 86mins

Belles Player Of The Match: Lindsey Tugby

Attendance: unknown

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