Doncaster Belles aiming to kick on after Durham win

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored a late winner against Durham. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored a late winner against Durham. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk came ‘full circle’ by scoring a late winner for Doncaster Rovers Belles against Durham on Sunday.

The striker headed in an 88th-minute winner to claim a 2-1 win and make it two victories from two for the Belles in the FAWSL2 Spring Series.

Sweetman-Kirk suffered a broken leg in a friendly against Durham a year to the day, which ruled her out for the entire of last year’s campaign as Belles were relegated from the top flight.

“Obviously I’ve come a full circle today, so it’s nice to come off the pitch,” she said.

“The win is the most important thing. It’s nice to get the goal, and it’s emotional being a year on, and my Gran passed away a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks but it’s nice to get onto Thursday [a trip to Watford) now.

“It [the performance] was a bit disappointing but I think we’ve not had a game for a long time.

“The most important thing was to get the result. We’ve trained really hard but you can’t replicate that match sharpness, I would say.

“We will definitely get a lot more now with the amount of games we have in a short time so hopefully, it will look better on Thursday.”

Sweetman-Kirk also paid tribute to teammate Christie Murray for her part in her goal.

“Christie [Murray’s] technique is incredible and she’s put it on a plate, so I’m glad to get there and finish it off,” she said.

“Christie’s incredible and if I didn’t get on the end of that I would have been very disappointed with myself.”

Murray broke the deadlock when she coolly controlled the ball, before turning a defender and firing powerfully into the net from close range with 20 minutes on the clock.

Zoe Ness and Beth Hepple combined to dangerous effect at the other end as their move nearly ended up with Kasia Lipka almost putting into her own net.

Becky Salicki levelled for Durham just after the hour mark as her far post header trickled into the net via a deflection.

Emily Roberts nearly turned the game on its head moments later but the former Doncaster forward’s shot was well saved by Nicky Davies.

And the visitors were made to rue that miss as Sweetman-Kirk headed Murray’s corner into the roof of the net to snatch the victory.

Belles travel to win-less Watford on Thursday (8pm).