Doncaster Rovers Belles ended the FA Women’s Super League Spring Series on a high as they defeated bottom club Oxford United 4-0 at Northcourt Road.
Goals from Sophie Barker, Kirsty Hanson, Rebecca Rayner and Christie Murray saw them finish second after Durham lost to Aston Villa.
The visitors opened the scoring after 25 minutes as a neat move saw Mayumi Pacheco square the ball to Murray who couldn’t miss from six yards.
The Belles would have doubled their lead but for a tremendous goal-line clearance from Lauren Haynes after Courtney Sweetman-Kirk had rounded goalkeeper Demi Lambourne.
Then seconds before half time Hanson, who’d had several chances to score, finally got her goal, chipping the ball over Lambourne who had rushed out to meet her.
Just minutes after the restart, the Belles looked to have killed the game as Barker forced the Oxford defence into an error before lifting the ball over Lambourne and into the top corner.
On 55 minutes Lambourne made a superb save, tipping over Emily Simpkins’s driven shot and the Oxford stopper continued to excel, producing a save of outstanding bravery to deny Sweetman-Kirk.
Rayner hammered home a rebound late on, after Sweetman-Kirk struck the bar, for her first goal for the club.
Doncaster Rovers Belles’ Leandra Little said: “First half we could have been a lot better. I think we were fortunate to come in 2-0 up even though we did create a lot more chances, we should have been far more clinical with them.
“There are areas of the performance that still need improvement, but a clean sheet and four goals, we can’t really complain too much.
“In the second half we really dominated in terms of possession and I think on a different day it could have been a few more.
“We wanted to end the season on high and ultimately we have done. Clean sheet, four goals, we couldn’t really ask for more.
“Even if we’re not champions, we’ll still celebrate this evening and go into our pre-season on a high.
“I think ‘inconsistent’ would be the best word to sum up our season. There have been some games when things have clicked, we’ve been clinical in front of goal and put in some good performances.
“Well done to Everton. They’ve been the most consistent team and gave us a great game at our place. They’re deserved winners of the series, no doubt.”
Oxford United: Lambourne, Frampton (Umotong 45), Casley (Oliver 45), Haynes (Pickett 72), Lane, Franklin-Fraiture, Deeley, Donovan, Lee, Noble, Gane
Not used: Thomas, Baker, Roberts
Doncaster: Davies, Barker, Little, Tierney, Pacheco, Walton, Simpkins, Murray, Rayner, Hanson (Newborough 45), Sweetman-Kirk
Not used: Davies, Bakowska-Mathews, Mosby
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