FA WNL Cup – Determining Round
Doncaster Rovers Belles 1 – 4 Sheffield FC
Marsden 48’ (S)
Wortley 52’ (S)
M Johnson 89’ & 90+5 (S)
Second half goals from Tania Marsden, Milly Wortley and a brace from Molly Johnson secured Sheffield FC Women’s place in the first round of the FA Women’s National League Cup, having recovered after Jasmine Saxton’s first half opener for the Belles.
Club started the stronger under the searing heat at the Keepmoat Stadium – within minutes, a cross into the box was spilled by Kirsty Johnson in the Belles goal, Tania Marsden set it back to Lisa Giampalma who sent a shot over the crossbar.
Belles responded with a great effort at the other end when Abby Watkinson beat her marker and fired into the side netting from an angle with Serena Clarke beaten. Minutes later, Sheffield went closer still when Molly Johnson drove into the penalty area drilled a low shot which beat the keeper but not the post, the ball rebounding of the inside of the post and away to safety.
Sheffield continued to have the upper hand and fashioned chances through Grace Wardle and Marsden but Johnson was equal to both efforts with good saves to maintain parity.
On 37 minutes, disaster for Sheffield as a poor mistake at the back allowed time and space for Jasmine Saxton to turn, control and strike past Clarke and open the scoring for Belles.
There was time for one more chance before the half was out as Jess Heald and Milly Wortley combined, allowing the latter to turn and shoot to pull another good stop from the Belles keeper, with M Johnson putting the rebound wide.
As it got hotter, so did Sheffield’s intent to ramp things up. And the second half started perfectly for the visitors as Tania Marsden got into a footrace with Sophie Scargill, her strength and power beating the defender before slotting the ball cleverly through keeper’s legs for 1-1.
Minutes later it was two. M Johnson found Marsden whose flick turned in Milly Wortley, and the young midfielder celebrated her birthday week with a fine turn and finish into the bottom corner.
As the game wore on, Sheffield began to control the game better, keeping possession around the big stadium pitch to tire the legs of the young Belles team.
But it wasn’t then until the 89th minute that the game was finally put beyond doubt. Molly Johnson was played in on the right and finished superbly past K Johnson.
As Belles pushed to try and get something back, space opened up out wide, and Johnson again received the ball in behind, drove to the byline, before a speculative strike from the tightest of angles fooled everyone and flew in to complete the scoring.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: K Johnson, Scargill, Trevillion, Starling, Sausby (Khan 81), Smith, Walby (Burgin 72), McWilliams (Williams 56), Breen ©, Watkinson, Saxton
Unused: Wishart, Dixon
Sheffield FC: S Clarke, Heald, Ibbotson, Neary (Barraclough 55), Wardle, M Johnson, Griffin, Pearson, Wortley (Beck 85), Giampalma ©, Marsden
Unused: Santoro, Davis, Millar
Photography courtesy of Paula Johnson