Doncaster Rovers Belles 3 Tottenham Hotspur 0: Belles maintain lead at top of FAWSL2

Jess Sigsworth
Jess Sigsworth

Doncaster Rovers Belles maintained their lead at the top of FA Women’s Super League 2 with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Doncaster lead second-placed Millwall Lionesses by three points after goals from Kirsty Hanson, Rebecca Rayner and Jess Sigsworth saw off Spurs.

Spurs started brightly but were unable to turn their dogged play into any real chances of note, despite some tenacious build-up.

Doncaster’s Hanson opened the scoring 33 minutes into a scrappy but open first half, finishing into the bottom corner after Sam Tierney won the ball well in midfield and played in Rayner to tee up Hanson.

The Belles felt hard done by six minutes after the break after Ryah Vyse felled Sigsworth right on the edge of the penalty box, with both players going in the referee’s book – Vyse for the foul, and Sigsworth for her claims that it should have been a penalty.

The decision proved almost as good as a spot-kick for the hosts however, with Rayner’s overhead kick deflecting wide for a corner from which the striker doubled the Belles’ lead.

That came courtesy of Sophie Walton’s excellent low delivery, which Rayner stuck into the bottom corner without hesitation.

Rhiannon Roberts went close again from another set-piece 11 minutes from time, with her header from Emily Simpkins’ corner skimming the bar.

But it was Sigsworth who had the final emphatic word, carrying the ball forward from 30 yards out and smashing it in off the underside of the bar.

Belles head coach Neil Redfearn said: “The goals were out of the top drawer. It was a really pleasing performance.”

“The first half was tough.

“Spurs came and played well and they made it difficult for us but I said to the girls at half time: ‘we’re top of the league. People are going to come and set their stall out and make it hard for you.’

“The thing that really pleased me was that they didn’t panic and I thought, second half, we were outstanding.

“I thought Rhiannon Roberts was the best player on the pitch.

“To go from centre back to playing midfield like that; she’s never played there before.

“We just needed a bit of assurance in midfield to let the other two play, and I thought she was outstanding, first in the 4-3-3 and then when we moved to 4-2-3-1.”