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Belles retain County Cup
 Women's Football News 22 Apr 2009
Belles retain County Cup - 22 Apr 2009 - Women's Football NewsDoncaster Rovers Belles retained the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup with a 5-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday on a warm, sunny afternoon at Bracken Moor, Stocksbridge Park Steels.
The tenth Sheffield & Hallamshire Women's Challenge Cup Final kicked off and both teams seemed evenly matched but it was not long before the Belles showed their strength against a team a division below them in the league. It only took seven minutes before Doncaster clinched the first goal, Vicky Exley struck the ball into the back of net past the outstretched keeper, Dani Maslin.
Doncaster's next significant chance came from a direct free kick from 30 yards out, which was not cleared by the Wednesday defence, Exley collected and passed to Precious Hamilton who scored, however referee Des Nutting disallowed the goal for a foul during the run up play on Maslin.
Wednesday started to get themselves back into the game and created a few positive spells of attacking football and started to move the ball into the Belles' half, but never quite managed to show enough promise to create a goalscoring opportunity. Belles kept on collecting the ball and having a pop at goal with Maslin managing to keep the ball out of the net for the immediate period, including a save from a Rovers corner on 15 minutes.
Shortly after at the other end of the field, a Wednesday throw in from the far side was kicked out for a corner, from which Beth Gingell mis-kicked in front of goal, Doncaster cleared the ball and went on the counter attack with Williams running from her own half with the ball only to shoot straight at Maslin.
This was followed by a Doncaster corner taken by Suzanne Davies, which was pushed out around the post by Maslin but the goalkeeper's valiant efforts finally came to end, with Doncaster grabbing a second with a goal on 21 minutes. A long ball landed at the feet of an unmarked Rachel Williams 25 yards out, who ran into the penalty area and sidefooted into the net.
The next ten minutes saw much of the same with Doncaster dominating the play, but gutsy Wednesday managing to hold the score and play a bit of football but not maximizing opportunities as the Belles defence continued to dominate any attack.
On 41 minutes, Wednesday had a header cleared, which was followed a minute later by the Belles' third goal. Precious Hamilton played the ball into box with little power which the keeper should have collected but spilled it, the ball dropped to Williams, who played it for Emma Johnson to slot into the net.
With the game pretty much being settled before the half time break, the remainder of the first half played itself out.
The second half started and Doncaster seemed to have taken the foot of the gas, taking full advantage of the three goal lead over Wednesday who looked tired. There was little play between both teams, with most of the game being in midfield.
As the second half progressed the chances start to come again, mainly from Doncaster. Emily Heckler had a crossed blocked by Wednesday captain Leanne Severns which was reclaimed by Heckler, who took a decent shot just after the hour mark.
Five mins later Williams was on the attack again when running from the halfway line, only to have her shot blocked by Maslin, the ball rebounded to Heckler who shot over the bar.
Rachel Williams then added a second goal to her tally on 62 minutes, with a shot from a low ball into the near corner of the net. A fifth and final goal sealed victory for the Belles on 84 minutes when Davies had a shot blocked by Maslin, the ball rebounded Amy Vaughan who finished it off.
The final whistle blew, with Doncaster Rovers Belles lifting the Cup for the second consecutive season and for the sixth time in the competition's ten year history.
Maurice Matthews, Chairman of Sheffield & Hallamshire FA presented the Women's Challenge Cup to Vikki Stevens and Emily Heckler.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs, Chelsea Weston (sub Amy Vaughan 65mins), Amy Turner, Natasha Hughes, Claire Utley, Precious Hamilton, Vicky Exley, Rachel Williams, Emily Heckler (sub Vanessa Leat 60mins), Emma Johnson (sub Vikki Stevens 55mins), Suzanne Davies.
Sheffield Wednesday: Dani Maslin, Leanne Severns, Lucy Smith, Christina Skull, Sarah Hobson, Lucy Foreman, Beth Gingell, Leanne De Silva, Melissa May Sherwood, Bridie Hannon, Laura Windle, Rachel Skeemer, Tania Marsden, Nicola Jepson, Olivia Murray.
(Report by Kate Evans)

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