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REPORT | Belles 3 Chester-le-Street Town 1

24 March 2024


REPORT | Belles 3 Chester-le-Street Town 1

24 March 2024

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The Belles shined under the lights at the Eco-Power Stadium to sweep past Chester-le-Street Town for a 3-1 win.

Hannah McWilliams fired the Belles ahead on the half hour before new signing Megumi Shenton made an immediate impact as she scored with her first touch after coming off the bench.

And Jasmine Saxton netted her 22nd goal of the campaign to make sure of the three points.

It saw the Belles return to winning ways and kick off a run of three matches at the stadium in fine style.

The hosts had the better of the opportunities in the early exchanges, and could have opened the scoring as Jess Tugby-Andrew found space at the back of the penalty area to fire over on the half-turn.

Newly-promoted Chester Le Street started the day a point outside of the relegation zone, and might have taken the lead early on themselves when Erin Third fired wide of the left hand post.

The breakthrough came on the half hour mark, when some good work from Izzy Gigg found Barlow on the edge of the penalty area. Her shot was too strong for goalkeeper Paris Banks to handle, presenting McWilliams with the chance to tap the ball into an unguarded net.

The visiting defence were called into action again just moments later, as Saxton was able to round Banks only to be denied by a late block by a defender.

Town’s Third was again denied right on half time by an outstanding last ditch tackle from Freya Rattenbury in the six yard box, ensuring the Belles took a one goal advantage into the break.

Toner introduced American attacking midfielder Shenton on the hour, and the debutant did not have to wait long to make an impact. Gigg’s cut back fell perfectly for Shenton at the far post to tap in to double the advantage at the perfect time for the Belles.

The goal seemed to settle the game down, before Chester Le Street were reduced to ten in the final quarter hour when Jasmine Badillo was given her marching orders for pulling the hair of Lindsey Tugby-Andrew.

Town pulled one back in the latter stages when Laura Hockaday found herself free at the far post to slide the ball into an unguarded net to make for a nervy final 10 minutes.

The Belles showed resilience to hold out the lead, and made certain of the three points when Saxton was played clean through after more good battling from Shenton. And the striker showing the calmness of a player in form in front of goal to slot it past Banks and restore the two goal lead.

And exciting debutant Shenton could have extended the lead further in stoppage time had her drilled shot found the right side of the post.

Belles: Sharpe, Yates (R Johnson 86), Rattenbury, J Tugby-Andrew, Housley, L Tugby-Andrew, Abadi (Shenton 61), Gigg (Morris 86), McWilliams (Sneddon 67), Barlow (Parnham 77), Saxton.

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