IN-form Lincoln dashed Doncaster Rovers Belles’ hopes of a first WSL double when avenging a defeat on the opening day of the season in the return at the Keepmoat Stadium last night.
Lowly Belles, who have now gone eight games without a win, made the early running and Lincoln keeper Nicola Hobbs did well to tip a 25 yard free-kick by former England star Vicky Exley over the bar for a sixth-minute corner. Lincoln striker Jodie Taylor just cleared the crossbar with an angled shot. Precious Hamilton broke into the box on 13 minutes and tested Hobbs with a close range shot at the near post which she was relieved to palm away for a corner. Exley, whose goal had separated the two sides in their previous meeting, headed well wide after getting on the end of Hamilton’s cross.
The visitors took the lead on 22 minutes with a superb curling shot by Lucy Staniforth from the edge of the area which beat Belles’ keeper Mary Earps at the far post.
Holtham continued to impress and she produced another excellent tackle to thwart a dangerous-looking run by Staniforth. Lincoln remained on the attack and the lively Staniforth just cleared the bar with a cracking 25 yarder. Taylor shot just wide of the near post on 34 minutes with an angled shot after linking up well down the right with Allen. Abbie Prosser went close to levelling the scores on 39 minutes with a powerful header from a corner which had Hobbs, who could only tip the ball away for another corner, at full stretch.
England international Sue Smith, who had easily beaten Earps at the first attempt, shot over from a twice-taken penalty after Holtham had brought a team-mate down in the box on 42 minutes.
Lincoln had the better of the opening exchanges after the break and Holtham again did well deny Taylor a shooting chance in the box. Belles came more into the game without creating a chance of note. Hamilton headed off the line at the near post from a corner on 66 minutes. Jess Clark effectively killed the game off with a 75th minute goal. Bonnie Horwood beat Earps from a corner eight minutes later.