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REPORT | Belles 2 Wem Town 1

20 March 2023


REPORT | Belles 2 Wem Town 1

20 March 2023

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Belles came from behind to take the points in a performance that improved over the course of the game against league strugglers Wem Town Ladies.

With the pitch at Thorne being declared waterlogged, the game was moved at short notice to the EcoPower 4G, where Belles started the game playing into the breeze.

On five minutes Izzy Gigg put an early chance wide of the far post, and two minutes later following good build up play down the left involving Lindsey Tugby and Holly Housley, Gigg found Emily Cahill in space in front of the penalty area but she put her shot over the bar.

Following a clash of heads the game was halted for a short while, and on resumption Ryley Johnson did well to get a couple of dangerous crosses into the box. On sixteen minutes Belles had a great chance to take the lead when a Holly Housley corner found captain Jess Andrew unmarked on the six yard line, but her first time volley went wide of the post.

Despite the increasing amount of possession, Belles weren’t helping themselves with some unforced errors and stray passing. Wem Town started to come back into the game and were unlucky to see a shot from Abby Sheriff hit the junction of crossbar and post. The visitors continued the pressure and moments later took the lead when a cross-pitch pass along the Belles’ backline was intercepted by Kim Bebbington who then took the ball on down the right. Her cross into the box was met by Kate Doster whose shot was well saved by Sharpe, but the rebound fell nicely to ABBY SHERIFF ghosting in at the back post to finish the move off.

Stung by going behind, Belles looked to get back into the game, and on twenty-five minutes Mollie Barlow outpaced two defenders to get onto the end of a Gigg through ball. Despite appearing to be impeded by Fleur Johnson-Derrick in the away goal, the young striker managed to continue her run and was unlucky to see her shot rebound off the post and back into the arms of the grateful Wem 'keeper.

Two minutes later Wem could have doubled their advantage when Bebbington again got down the right to cross into the box and find Doster on the six yard line, but Sharpe got down smartly to turn the number 10’s goal-bound shot around the post. Bolstered by their lead, Wem were working hard to deny Belles any time on the ball and it was only as half-time approached that the home side started to put passing moves together and impose themselves on the visitors.

Housley was becoming more influential with crosses into the box, and Gigg put a first time shot wide of the post. Minutes later a sweeping passing move out from the back saw Cahill put a pass through to Scargill on the byline, but her low cross went into the arms of Johnson-Derrick. From a corner, this time it was Scargill who played in Barlow on the byline, but a defender was on hand to clear her goal line cross before it could reach the unmarked Andrew at the back post.

With the last attack of the half, Belles had their best chance to level the scores when Housley put through Barlow on the left from a Sharpe clearance. Barlow then squared the ball to the unmarked Scargill, but the Belles club captain put her shot over the bar from eight yards with only Johnson-Derrick to beat.

After the break, Belles continued the pressure as Barlow broke down the right and crossed for Housley but she could only put her volley wide as she advanced into the box. On forty-nine minutes Belles got the ball into the six yard box twice, but Johnson-Derrick did well to bravely claim the ball at the feet of first Johnson and then Scargill and Gigg.

Despite the increasing pressure Wem had been holding firm and on sixty-one minutes Belles manager Nick Buxton made his first changes bringing on Olivia Harness and Sophie Brown to replace Ryley Johnson and Freya Rattenbury.

Moments later Tugby put a tantalising ball into the six yard area with both Barlow and Brown just unable to get on the end of the cross, and then Johnson-Derrick was quick off her line to take the ball off the toes of Scargill following a cross from Izzy Trevillion. As Belles pushed for the equaliser, a through ball from Scargill found Brown who saw her close range shot tipped over the bar by the busy Wem ‘keeper.

However, on sixty-five minutes Belles finally got the goal they deserved when Brown won the ball on the halfway line and played in Gigg, who took the ball down the left to the byline and crossed into the box. The ball evaded Barlow arriving at the near post but went through to SOPHIE BROWN, who, having continued her run into the box, shot past Johnson-Derrick into the net to level the scores.

On sixty-nine minutes Abi Coley replaced Holly Housley for her third appearance as Belles looked to go for the winner. However, there was a big let off for the home side on seventy-three minutes when Wem nearly took the lead themselves as Belles failed to clear a rare attack with the ball falling to Alise Gindra who, in on goal, put her stabbed shot just wide of the post with Sharpe at full stretch.

Following that scare, action resumed down the other end of the pitch, with Trevillion nearly catching Johnson-Derrick out with a cross into the box and a Jess Andrew header going over the bar from a Tugby corner.

On eighty minutes Nick Buxton made his final substitutions putting three strikers up front with Shelbey Morris replacing Lindsey Tugby, and it was to prove a pivotal decision as a minute later Scargill crossed into the box for SHELBEY MORRIS to run onto and shoot past Johnson-Derrick to score her first goal for the Belles and with her first touch of the ball.

Wem looked to hit back with a couple of free kicks and corners, but with their noses now in front, there was no let up from the home side as they pushed to secure the win. On eighty-nine minutes, Johnson-Derrick again did well to deny Brown at close range, and moments later Brown almost got her second with a header that skimmed the outside of the post.

On the final whistle, two goals was enough for a Belles side who had taken some time to get into their stride to turn the game around and take the points against a stubborn Wem Town team.

Team: Sharpe, Rattenbury (Harness 61), Andrew ©, Trevillion, Housley (Coley 65), Cahill, Gigg, Tugby (Morris 80), Scargill, Johnson (Brown 61), Barlow.

Subs unused: Dean

Belles Player Of The Match: Emily Cahill

Attendance: 153







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