Doncaster Belles: Staniforth hails high-flying Belles as side rolls Royals

Photo by Malcolm Couzens
Photo by Malcolm Couzens
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Manager Gordon Staniforth says his table-topping side put in the “complete performance” to maintain their 100 per cent start to the FA Women’s Super League 2 season with victory over Reading.

Jess Sigsworth scored twice as the Belles made it three wins from their opening three games on Saturday night at the Keepmoat Stadium.

“I thought we were fantastic. That was a complete performance,” said Staniforth.

“To be honest we just blitzed them. The finishing, the goals and the chances that we created, we could have been out of sight by half-time.”

Belles keeper Nicola Hobbs had to come off her line well on nine minutes to stop Rebecca Dandridge from closing in on goal.

Hobbs’ opposite number Nicky Davies made a tremendous save 12 minutes later, reacting superbly to turn Sigsworth’s snap shot away from the top corner.

But she was powerless to do anything about Millie Bright’s incredible 35-yard effort on 37 minutes, which must go down as one of the early contenders for goal of the season.

“Millie’s been waiting for that goal for a few weeks,” added Staniforth. “We’ve been practicing and practicing and that’s the Millie Bright that I like and the Millie Bright that I know is capable of playing for England.

“At half-time we said to make sure we didn’t concede, but we will always create chances. We’re very good at that quick counter attack.”

Beth England got a slightly fortuitous second for the Belles, with her effort taking a deflection off Royals defender Kelly Chambers before bouncing in off the post.

Sue Smith made it 3-0 two minutes later, before Reading clawed a goal back on 58 minutes through Francesca Kirby, who cut inside Rhiannon Roberts before beating Hobbs.

Doncaster provided an immediate response, with Sigsworth finding the top corner just 40 seconds after Kirby’s strike and then repeating the trick five minutes later.

Kirby added another consolation for Reading 12 minutes from time with a 20-yard drive to the bottom corner but it did little to please Royals defender Alex Keown.

“It was really disappointing, and just out of character from us,” she said.

“I think they just really wanted it more than we did and we didn’t know how to react to the goals. “When the second goal went in we just didn’t know how to react and it was just like our heads went down. I’m just speechless to be honest.”

Doncaster (4-3-3): Hobbs; Cunningham, Roberts, Little, Cresswell (Williams 46); England, Lipka, Bright; Mills (Chadwick 61), Sigsworth (Knight 73), Smith.

Subs not used: M Johnson, E Johnson.

Bookings: none.

Red cards: none.

Reading (4-2-3-1): Davies; Jane, Grant, Chambers, Pond; Bartrin (Gradings 46), McGree; Dandridge (Roche 46), Bruton (Nichol 64), Kirby; Fletcher.

Subs not used: Keown, Williams, Cox.

Bookings: none.

Red cards: none.

Att: 168

Ref: E. Simms

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