Doncaster Rovers Belles 2 Aston Villa 1

Doncaster Rovers Belles deservedly held off a spirited effort by Aston Villa to move above their rivals in Division Two of the Spring Series.

Sunday, 14th May 2017, 10:39 am
Updated Monday, 15th May 2017, 8:36 am
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk was on the scoresheet again. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Defeat ended Villa’s outside chance of winning the title.

After surviving an early scare when Nicky Davies denied Kerri Welsh with a fine reflex save, Belles dominated the first half.

Midfielder Kirsty Hanson was involved in both goals as Doncaster’s neat approach work caused Villa a host of problems.

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Her 15-yard shot in the 21st minute gave Belles the lead despite a valiant effort by goalkeeper Chloe Beattie.

Then her excellent run down the right provided a straightforward 10th goal of the campaign for leading scorer Courtney Sweetman-Kirk in the 40th minute.

A one-sided half ended with Sweetman-Kirk being denied at close range by Beattie.

Villa made a double change at the interval but it was Belles who should have made the game safe when Sweetman-Kirk rolled her shot against a post after rounding Beattie.

But Davies made good saves from Mollie Rouse and Welsh before a rare error allowed Maddy Cusack to pull a goal back in the 78th minute.

Only an excellent save by Davies denied Mollie Rouse an equaliser before Hanson and Christie Murray missed clear chances at the other end in a frantic finale.

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