DONCASTER Rovers Belles ended their FA Women’s Super League Continental Cup Group One campaign on a losing note away to high-flying Birmingham City Ladies.
Goals from Eni Aluko and Jodie Taylor in either half ensured the Blues qualified for the last four with seven points from their three games with a 2-0 win over John Buckley’s side, who lost 4-0 on the same ground in the WSL earlier in the season.
A Birmingham side showing several changes, took their time to get into the contest as Belles, whose interest in the competition had ended following their defeat at Everton Ladies, carved out a couple of early chances.
Taylor had the ball in the back of the net on 11 minutes only to be ruled offside..
The 25-year-old forced Belles’ keeper Mary Earps into a smart save, which was followed up by former Belles’ midfielder Rachel Williams’ stinging strike on 18 minutes.
Birmingham increased the pressure as the half wore on and their dominance was rewarded courtesy of Aluko.
Taylor’s neat flick resulted in the England international bearing down on goal and the striker coolly slotted the ball underneath Earps into the bottom corner.
Belles rarely threatened to get back on level terms before the break as the Blues controlled the pace of the game.
Taylor’s claim for a penalty after going down in the box, fell on deaf ears. Only a superb stop from Earps denied Williams her fifth goal of the campaign.
The Blues finally made sure of their last-four spot thanks to Taylor’s 71st minute strike. Laura Bassett’s huge clearance found the former Melbourne Victory forward, who clipped the ball past Earps.