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REPORT | Belles 1 Barnsley 0

4 March 2024


REPORT | Belles 1 Barnsley 0

4 March 2024

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The Belles delivered their most impressive result of the season to date to see off promotion-chasing Barnsley at the Iqbal Poultry Stadium.

Arianne Parnham’s second half header was the difference between the two sides as the Belles delivered a superb performance after the break to take control of the game. 

It was a superb response from Ciaran Toner’s side from the defeat at struggling Chester-le-Street Town seven days earlier and the result has them within touching distance of the top half of FAWNL Division One North. 

Barnsley – looking to return to the top of the table – got off to the better start and Autumn Housley looked certain to give them the lead inside the first five minutes only to fire wide at the back post. 

Rosie Exten drilled past Ellie Sharpe on 12 minutes but could not keep her shot down while Charlie Stuart danced into a good position but fired wide as Barnsley continued to push. 

The Belles were firmly on the back foot and Barnsley produced their best effort of the first half when Courtney Csomor rounded Sharpe and had the goal at her mercy until skipper Jess Tugby-Andrew raced back to clear the danger. 

The Belles had their first sight of goal midway through the half with a break down the middle as Mollie Barlow played Jasmine Saxton in one-on-one, but she was denied by Barnsley keeper>>>>>>>> 

Barnsley went close on the counter themselves moments later but Pierrepont fired Csomor’s cutback over the bar. 

Sharpe went full stretch to keep out a shot from Barnsley’s Housley before bodies were put on the line in a scramble just before the break as the visitors continued to have the better of the attacking play. 

Half time would signal a change in the pattern of play however and the Belles immediately sprung onto the front foot. 

Barlow was denied from a matter of yards out second into the second period. 

But they did not have long to wait for the breakthrough. Saxton flicked on a Holly Housley corner with the ball looped to Parnham at the back post where she showed excellent compose to head home. 

The goal only saw the Belles grow in confidence. Parnham raced down the right wing and fizzed a ball into the centre for Saxton only for Barnsley’s Housley to produce a last-ditch interception. 

A long range free kick from Pierrepont bounced in front of Sharpe and flew inches wide of the upright. 

The game became cagey in the later stages as Barnsley hunted a route back but the Belles delivered an excellent defensive showing to keep the visitors frustrated. 

Barnsley went close on 83 minutes when Pierrepont raced through and pulled the ball back for Brooke Marsden only for a timely block to snuff out the chance. 

The Belles saw out the remaining moments with excellent composure to keep Barnsley at bay. 

Belles: Sharpe, Johnson, Housley, J Tugby-Andrew, Gigg, Saxton, McWilliams (Abadi 82), L Tugby-Andrew, Parnham, Broadhurst (Yates 72), Barlow (Sneddon 76). Subs not used: Rattenbury, Morris. 

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