Doncaster Rovers Belles 5 Watford Ladies 0

Doncaster Belles
Doncaster Belles

Promotion chasing Doncaster Rovers Belles outclassed basement side Watford Ladies on their return to FAWSL2 action.

First half goals from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk (2), Sue Smith and debutant Jade Lorton-Radburn sent the Belles on their way to a routine victory.

Bethany England added a fifth for good measure after the break to cap Doncaster’s eighth league win out of ten.

Victory moved the second-placed Belles nine points clear of Yeovil Town in third. This season, for the first time, the top two are promoted to FAWSL1.

There was more cheer at the size of the crowd too. Club officials had been hoping for a post Women’s World Cup boom and were thrilled with an attendance of 578. Last season’s average attendance was around the 240-mark.

Smith opened the scoring for the hosts with a deft curling free kick from just outside the box after just four minutes.

Dominant Doncaster doubled their lead on 19 minutes when Lorton-Radburn met Sophie Barker’s inch perfect cross the right with a bullet header.

Six minutes later it was 3-0 when hapless Watford goalkeeper Shayla Burgess flapped at Smith’s centre and Sweetman-Kirk poked home the rebound.

Sweetman-Kirk doubled her tally for the night just after the half hour when she latched onto a through ball and powerfully fired into the far corner.

The ball had barely been out of the Watford half during a one-sided period and the second half proved to be more of the same as the Belles continued to dominate possession and were rarely troubled at the back.

Kasia Lipka picked out England to sweep home an emphatic fifth on 54 minutes and the margin of victory perhaps should have been even greater as Sweetman-Kirk and England saw further chances go begging.

Belles: Hobbs, Cunningham (Johnson 67), Little (Tierney 72), Roberts, Cresswell, Lipka, Smith (Thomas 67), Lorton-Radburn, Barker, England, Sweetman-Kirk. Subs: Stamp, Dale, Knight, Mills.

Watford: Burgess, Heaslip, Burgess, Robe, Gillard, Tullett, Pepper, Donnelly (Littleboy 60), Read (Gould 69), Farrow, Adamson. Subs: Witney, Lee, Butterwick, Neal.

Attendance: 578