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Belles

REPORT | Belles 4 Mansfield Town 0

23 October 2023

Belles

REPORT | Belles 4 Mansfield Town 0

23 October 2023

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The Belles coasted in the first round proper of the FA Cup with a convincing 4-0 win over Mansfield Town on the Eco-Power Stadium 3G.

Goals from Jas Saxton, Phoebe Sneddon, Laila Abadi and Sophie Brown saw the Belles – six-time winners of the competition – ease through against the East Midlands Premier Division side. 

The opening quarter hour was a cagey affair with few chances but Shaun Hird’s side soon found their groove. 

And on 20 minutes they grabbed the opener. Saxton won the ball back on the right and showed neat footwork to glide past the Mansfield defence and slot home. 

With wind in their sails, it was one way traffic and within four minutes the Belles had doubled their lead. 

Intensity in the play created the space for Jess Tugby-Andrew to deliver a pin-point cross for Sneddon to flick home with a header. 

Saxton continued to pepper the visiting defence for the remainder of the opening half but a second goal evaded her and the Belles before the break. 

Hird’s side started the second half in similar fashion to the first as they showed patience in seeking opportunities and after piling on the pressure with a sequence of attacks, they got their reward. 

A corner from the left was swung in and caused confusion in the Stags ranks but Abadi was the most switched on and fired a first-time shot into the back of the net. 

With the game now firmly in their grasp, the Belles’ freedom was flowing and they were stretching a tiring Mansfield side to craft more opportunities. 

Sneddon almost had a brace on the day with a cross-turned-shot but it crashed off the crossbar before Brown anticipated the flight of the rebound perfectly and helped the ball over the line for a four-goal lead. 

On as a second half substitute, Brown had another golden opportunity just before the end with the goal at her mercy but the ball bounced off the wrong side of her boot and it rolled wide. 

In the final minutes, the hosts stood in the way of everything to keep their clean sheet. 

Belles: Sharpe, Johnson, Yates, Abadi, J. Tugby-Andrew, Gigg, Sneddon, L. Tugby-Andrew, Willoughby, Saxton, Morris. Subs: Breen, Broadhurst, Brown, Banaszczyk, McWilliams. 

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