Aston Villa Ladies 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 5: Five-star Belles send message to FAWSL2 rivals

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored with a brilliant long-range chip. Photo: Julian Barker
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk scored with a brilliant long-range chip. Photo: Julian Barker
Have your say

Sophie Barker and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk hit screamers as Doncaster Rovers Belles produced a five-star display to lay down the gauntlet to the rest of FA WSL2 with a 5-0 win at Aston Villa Ladies.

Barker, a winter signing from Sheffield FC Ladies, bagged her first Rovers goal in style with a sumptuous half-volley and headers from Emily Roberts and Rhiannon Roberts put Belles out of sight before the break.

Belles put the exclamation mark on the win with two second-half stoppage-time goals as Sue Smith netted from a corner before Sweetman-Kirk unleashed a stunning 45-yard lob to put the icing on the cake.

Rovers went ahead on 24 minutes, as a Villa half-clearance fell perfectly for Barker on the edge of the box and she fired a beautiful half-volley into the top corner, giving keeper Jess Myers no chance.

Myers made a superb fingertip save to claw Emily Roberts’ effort out of the bottom corner but, from the resulting corner, Rhiannon Roberts nodded home Barker’s far-post delivery to make it 2-0 on 35 minutes.

And Belles added a third on the stroke of half-time as Villa failed to deal with another set-piece, this time a Smith free-kick, and Emily Roberts thumped home a fine header off the post from 12 yards.

The second half was far more subdued but Smith’s corner late on found its way into the back of the net before Sweetman-Kirk caught Myers off her line with a brilliant long-range chip to make it 5-0.

Aston Villa Ladies (4-2-3-1): Jess Myers; Hayley Crackle, Jade Richards, Emily Owen (Maisie Baker 76), Hannah George; Alicia Robinson (Maddy Cusack 63), Sherry McCue; Olivia Fergusson (Bethan Merrick 23), Kerri Welsh, Abi Cottam; Katie Wilkinson. Subs not used: Lauren Haynes, Elisha N’Dow, Katy Moran.

Doncaster Rovers Belles (4-1-4-1): Nicola Hobbs; Lyndsey Cunningham, Rhiannon Roberts, Leandra Little, Lauren Cresswell (Hope Knight 65); Kasia Lipka; Sue Smith, Bethany England (Nicole Dale 82), Sophie Barker (Sophie Stamp 65), Emily Roberts; Courtney Sweetman-Kirk. Subs not used: Sam Tierney, Molly Johnson, Reanne Thomas.

Attendance: 335

Referee: M Griffiths