FA Cup: Aston Villa 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 2

Gordon Staniforth was all smiles following their cup win over Aston Villa. Picture: Kevin Neagle
Gordon Staniforth was all smiles following their cup win over Aston Villa. Picture: Kevin Neagle

Newly-appointed head coach Gordon Staniforth got his Doncaster Rovers Belles career off to a fine start with a 2-0 FA Women’s Cup win over Aston Villa.

Second half strikes from Beth England and a Tori Williams penalty settled the third round encounter at Sutton Coldfield.

The Belles - who face life in WSL2 this year following their controversial ‘relegation’ - saw another Williams penalty crash against the bar late on as the visitors engineered the better of the chances throughout.

England was first to strike as she burst down the left flank but planted her drive into the grateful arms of Caitlin Leach.

Rhiannon Roberts’ quick free-kick was later flicked on by England, however, Naomi Chadwick directed her lob the wrong side of the post.

Lyndsey Cunningham then lofted in a beautifully-weighted ball with England advancing - but her effort lacked the desired purchase.

Jess Sigsworth saw a curling effort sail wide and another comfortably gathered as the home side had few chances to shout about apart from a deflected shot which whistled past Nic Hobb’s post.

Villa were then trailing minutes after the restart when Sue Smith was bundled over in the box for a penalty. Centre-back Williams stepped up and coolly slotted the 51st minute spot-kick to Leach’s left despite the ‘keeper getting a hand to it.

Three minutes later the advantage was doubled as England collected a Smith pass and, with her back to goal, turned and lashed in her effort past the stranded Villa shot-stopper.

Substitute Sarah Mayling could have changed Villa’s fortunes, however, fired a couple of efforts into the arms of Hobbs.

The Belles were awarded another penalty following a foul on Smith but Williams crashed her spot-kick against the upright and Smith’s headed follow-up failed to trouble Leach.

Villa themselves created chances in the final moments, however, Staniforth’s side took a comprehensive cup win back to South Yorkshire.