Doncaster Belles go out of Cup despite fine win at Sunderland

Belles' Beth England scored one and had another cracker disallowed for offside
Belles' Beth England scored one and had another cracker disallowed for offside

Doncaster Rovers Belles completed their FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup campaign with an excellent 3-2 win at WSL1 side Sunderland.

It gave them third place in Group Two though it was not enough to take them through to the quarter-finals.

Emily Roberts put Rovers ahead in the 28th minute and while Abbey Joice equalised for Sunderland early in the second half, goals by Bethany England and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk gave the Belles victory – Sarah McFadden bagging a late consolation for the Black Cats.

Doncaster took a 28th-minute lead, breaking superbly with Sweetman-Kirk’s cross from the right turned in by Roberts.

Rovers were unlucky not to make it 2-0 in the 34th minute when England finished emphatically but an offside flag saved the hosts.

The hosts pulled level straight after the break, Joice shooting high into the net after a great run and pull-back by Beth Mead.

But Rovers remained a danger and Olsen saved well from a header by Sweetman-Kirk.

They then re-took the lead with a great finish by England, her powerful shot beating Hilde Olsen to her right.

And the FA WSL 2 side sealed the win 11 minutes from time. Olsen saved brilliantly from Sweetman-Kirk but the rebound fell to the Belles striker who shot into the empty net.

Sunderland pulled a goal back in the fifth minute of injury time through McFadden’s header but it was too late for the hosts.

Sunderland (4-3-3): Olsen, Holmes, Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, Joice, Furness (McFadden 82), Kelly (Ramshaw 43), Chaplen, Roche (McDougall 69), Mead. Subs not used: Laws, Williams, Beer

Goals: Joice (47), Sarah McFadden 90

Bookings: Holmes (39), Greenwell (40)

Doncaster Rovers Belles (4-3-3): Hobbs, Barker, Little, Roberts, Knight, England, Lawton-Radburn, Simpkins, Lipka (Tierney 90), Roberts (Stamp 65), Sweetman-Kirk. Subs not used: Dale, Stamp, Cresswell, Smith.

Goals: Emily Roberts (28), Bethany England (63), Courtney Swettman-Kirk (79)

Referee: Robert Anderson

Attendance: 651

* To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match near you go to –