A DOMINANT Doncaster Rovers Belles defeated Burton Albion on Saturday - beating the Brewers 5-0 at the Eco-Power Stadium.
Going into half-time with a two-goal advantage thanks to headers from Lauren Breen and Jess Andrew, the Belles added another three in the second-half.
A sucker-punch goal from Nadia Khan extended the hosts' lead soon after the restart, with the Brewers having started the half brightly, before a second from Breen and a first for Jasmine Saxton put the game beyond any doubt.
Doncaster were eager to impress their home supporter at the Eco-Power Stadium from the off and would have gained an early lead if not for a phenomenal save from Alice Langstone.
Whipped in from the left after a flurry of corners, it was Nadia Khan who latched onto the cross and prodded towards the goal. Shooting from inside the six-yard box, Langstone produced a smart reflex save, tipping the ball around the post.
The hosts dominated exchanges, with Sophie Bell next to test Langstone. Bursting down the right flank, the full-back beat Ciara Fray to the ball before cutting the ball inside and curling the ball into the gloves of the keeper.
The Brewers were forced to sit deep in their half for most of the first 45 minutes but always presented a danger on the counter.
On-form attacker Ella Ritchie was at the heart of the bwst chance, pressing Andrew into losing possession before sliding the ball to Millie Drinkhall. Taking the shot first-time on the edge of the box, her strike narrowly missed the target, floating just over the bar.
Tommy Booth’s and Kristian Gilbert’s side couldn’t build on their chance to score, with Doncaster inches away from taking the lead with their next attack.
Fed through by Khan, Breen beat the offside trap and found herself one-on-one with Langstone. Aiming for the top corner, her bending effort beat the Burton shot-stopper, crashing against the post before being hacked clear of danger.
Combining for the previous opportunity, Khan and Breen did so once again moments later to break the deadlock. Launching the ball into the box from the right, Khan’s high cross was met by BREEN, who jumped the highest and looped her header over Lansgtone and into the far corner.
Quiet for most of the first-half, Rovers’ top scorer Jasmine Saxton almost doubled her sides lead just minutes before the break. Powering forward, the striker cut in from the left before seeing her low drive pushed wide.
Langstone, who produced a strong save just moments before, couldn’t stop Doncaster from scoring from the resulting corner. Goal-scorer Breen took the set-piece, finding captain ANDREW who lost her marker and directed her header into the far corner.
As ever, the Brewers did not give up on the game despite the two-goal deficit, starting the second half the stronger of the two sides thanks to their aggressive press and battling performance in the midfield.
Ritchie went agonisingly close to halving the deficit, with her strike on the outskirts of the box bending just wide before Doncaster found a fortuitous third.
Substitute McWilliams’ shot from outside the area was blocked well by Charlotte Jarvis, but the ball rolled into the path of KHAN. Positioned on the penalty spot, Khan rocketed the ball past Lansgtone, who has given no chance of saving the emphatic strike.
Khan, who already had a goal and assist, then had two opportunities in quick succession to put the result of the game beyond any doubt. First firing a tame effort straight at Langstone, the forward then saw her second attempt smothered by the Brewers keeper after a mishap at the back.
Milly Wortley then shot wide for the Brewers before Doncaster scored their fourth of the game. Crossed in from deep, McWilliam’s header was parried by Langstone, with BREEN reacting the fastest to stumble in the rebound.
With just five minutes reaming, SAXTON then scored her 17th goal of the season to finish off an impressive victory for the league’s second-placed slide. Found by Phoebe Sneddon with a precise through ball, the striker smashed her shot across goal, cracking the inside of the post and into the net.
The defeat leaves the Brewers in 11th, six points from FAWNL Division One Midlands safety, with their next fixture coming against Solihull Moors next Sunday.