By Zoe Vicarage
Doncaster 2 Durham 0
Goals from Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Rhiannon Roberts were enough for Doncaster Rovers Belles to condemn Durham Women to a 2-0 defeat.
Sweetman-Kirk’s strike came when making the most of poor Durham defending to put the Belles 1-0 up before Roberts’ doubled her side’s advantage 10 minutes before half-time.
With both sides having come into the match with victories in their previous fixture, the opening exchanges between the two saw both have plenty of possession on the ball.
Jordan Atkinson started a quick counter-attack for Durham when breaking down the right-hand side and winning the away side a corner.
Victoria Linsley came to the rescue when Doncaster fired a dangerous ball into the box but the defender was there to get the ball clear.
15 minutes in and there had been no clear-cut chances for either side until Courtney Sweetman-Kirk put the home side ahead in the 19th minute.
Capitalising on a defensive error by Durham, Sweetman-Kirk reacted quickest to slot the ball past Danielle Hill.
Doncaster could have had their second of the match when Sue Smith made the most of another Hill error to lob the goalkeeper.
As Hill tracked back the ball crashed onto the roof of the net and Durham survived another Doncaster attack.
Hill produced a fantastic save to deny Sweetman-Kirk, acrobatically getting down to her left-hand side to push the ball out for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Doncaster doubled their advantage. Roberts rose unmarked to meet the ball and head the ball into the back of the net.
Beth Hepple went close just before half-time but her shot was deflected and saved easily by Nicola Hobbs.
Half-time and it was 2-0 to Doncaster.
Durham’s best chance of the game came when Ellie Christon’s cross found Zoe Ness unmarked in the box but the Scotland U19 international’s lob rose high over the bar.
There were worrying moments for the Wildcats when Jess Sigsworth’s cross was met by Sweetman-Kirk’s leg only for it to flash wide of the post.
Strong defending from Linsley and Sarah Wilson managed to keep Doncaster’s attacking threat at bay.
Each time Durham searched for a way back into the game the passes either fell short or they were cleared by the Doncaster side.
Hill reacted quickly to get her tip Sigsworth’s shot over the bar after the striker weaved her way into the box.
As the game entered the final 10 minutes it was Doncaster who continued to search for a third goal but time ran out and the home side ran out 2-0 winners.