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Promotion chasing Belles record win over U’s

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Promotion chasing Doncaster Rovers Belles extended their lead at the top of WSL 2 after beating Oxford United Women 5-2.

U’s manager Les Taylor had named an unchanged side from the team that won at the London Bees last weekend, but the hosts were unable to keep that momentum going in front of 400 fans in Abingdon.

The league leaders, who were pressuring from the off, took an early lead as Beth England struck into an empty net after the U’s defence was cut open from a great passing move. The goalscorer soon thought she had doubled the Belles lead as she volleyed home Sue Smith’s delivery, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

But the U’s, who hadn’t yet got a foothold in the game, found an equaliser after 25 minutes. Katie Stanley’s corner was only cleared as far as Kayleigh Hines on the edge of the box, and the pass to Kat Nutman allowed the latter to sidefoot home, bringing the game level.

The U’s then began to get some momentum as first, Holly Pickett saw her effort fly narrowly wide, before Nutman’s deflected effort had the same outcome.

But despite the hosts gaining some control in the game, the visitors regained the lead just before the break as Sweetman-Kirk chased a long ball before lobbing it over the U’s goalkeeper, Demi Lambourne.

As the second half kicked off, both sides appeared evenly matched. That was until Sweetman-Kirk added a third with a sweetly struck long range effort.

Sweetman-Kirk, who was now in search of her hattrick, broke free moments later, but the forward scuffed her effort harmlessly wide.

But then the moment came as just one minute later, she netted her third goal of the game as she rounded Lambourne before slotting in the visitors fourth of the afternoon.

The U’s, who knew they had been beaten by now, did pull back a consolation with ten minutes remaining, but an unconventional one at best, as Belles keeper Nicola Hobbs fumbled a United corner into her own net at her near post.

But the Belles’ two goal advantage soon became three for the second time of the afternoon as Sophie Stamp pounced on a rebound, after Lambourne had initially stopped Sweetman-Kirk, chipping over the dissapointed keeper and completing a comprehensive victory.

In the other games in the WSL 2, bottom club Watford Ladies lost 1-3 at home to Durham Women, whilst 9th placed London Bees won 2-1 at home against 4th placed Aston Villa Ladies. Yeovil Town Ladies kept their title ambitions alive as they were 1-0 winners at home to the Millwall Lionesses.

Doncaster Rovers Belles Oxford United Women Women's Football WSL 2

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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