Doncaster Belles 2 Watford 0: Staniforth’s side bounces back to sting Hornets

Millie Bright and Rhiannon Roberts (right) celebrate Belles' opener. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
Millie Bright and Rhiannon Roberts (right) celebrate Belles' opener. Picture: Malcolm Billingham
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Doncaster Rovers Belles kept up their perfect record in the FAWSL2 following a comfortable 2-0 win over Watford.

Gordon Staniforth’s league leaders got back to winning ways after their midweek cup defeat to Sunderland, as first half goals from Millie Bright and Rhiannon Roberts clinched victory in the FAWSL2 - a league they are yet to drop points in.

Belles controlled the game and could have gone ahead as early as the sixth minute when Jess Sigsworth ghosted in from the left before slotting past the on-rushing ‘keeper, however, her effort was cleared off the line.

Kate Natkiel later mis-kicked on the edge of the area in a rare Watford chance before Belles responded through a Lauren Cresswell free-kick which was well held by Lauren Davey.

Sigsworth proved a thorn in Watford’s side as she was hacked down by Renee Hector for a free-kick and Bright stepped up, rifling an 18th minute set-piece into the top corner which the ‘keeper saved but saw it creep in.

Reanne Thomas tried to make it two but failed to get the desired purchase on her 24th minute effort before Sigsworth dragged a chance wide and Bright blazed over.

Bright nearly had her brace, but the midfielder’s header cannoned back off Davey’s near-post from a Lyndsey Cunningham cross.

The Belles’ pressure eventually told on Watford as they failed to stop a Roberts header in the 35th minute - the defender nodding home a Sue Smith in-swinging corner.

Some clever play from Natkiel nearly reduced the deficit for Watford as she jinked past a number of challenges but blasted over.

After the restart, Roberts had a couple of half chances from corners before Davey expertly tipped Smith’s powerful effort over.

Bright and substitute Hope Knight also saw strikes go wide as Sigsworth was denied by the feet of Davey in the 72nd minute.

Tori Williams later guided a chance over as the heat took its toll with both sides seeing the game peter out and finish as a comfortable victory for the hosts.

Belles: Hobbs, Cunningham, Little, Sigsworth, Lipka, Smith, Bright, Thomas, Mills, Roberts, Cresswell. Subs: England, Williams, E.Johnson, Knight.

Watford: Davey, Mays, Butterwick, Gunn, Mosengo, Hector, Wiltshire, Horwood, Natkiel, Green, Beckett. Subs: Wilson, Bryan, Burgess, Wynne, Rowell.

Attendance: 196