In a match that saw three goals disallowed for off-side – two for Doncaster and one for Spurs – two goals either side of the break via Ryah Vyse’s own goal and Jess Sigsworth, then Monique Watson and Christie Murray saw Belles take the points.
Martin had the final say, but the well-established visitors had done enough.
On the culmination of FA Girls’ Football Week and with the Armed Forces in attendance for Remembrance Sunday at Cheshunt FC, Spurs Ladies made their mark off the pitch – but it was a different story altogether on it as Doncaster Rovers Belles ran out as 4-1 winners in the FA WSL 2.
The visitors’ Kirsty Hanson broke on the left and cut inside prior to striking across goal, but her effort evaded the far post inside nine minutes. Bianca Baptiste then shimmied on the left for Spurs and tried something similar, but her attempt flew past the right post four minutes later.
Above: Ashleigh Neville wins a header (pics: Wu's Photography).
With a quarter-of-an-hour played, Baptiste paced down the right, crossing towards Coral-Jade Haines, whose far-post header gave Sarah Wiltshire the opportunity to half-volley inside the near-post, only for the goal to be ruled out for off-side.
Three minutes on, it was the visitors who struck the first blow. Hanson latched onto loose possession deep in the final third, before Vyse inadvertently turned her strike across goal and past Toni-Anne Wayne. Sophie Walton’s deep cross found Christie Murray to head in, but the off-side flag saved Spurs in the 22nd minute.
With 34 minutes played, Karen Hills’ side found themselves 2-0 down. Hanson’s left wing cross found Sigsworth who bundled the ball into the bottom corner.
Walton’s deep cross was then headed out towards Sigsworth, whose strike from distance dipped over the upright a minute before the half drew to a close.
Five minutes after the restart, Sigsworth looked for a one-on-one breaking away, but Ashleigh Neville recovered to hook the danger clear. Renee Hector broke out from the back and played over the top for Martin to attempt a lob, but Nikki Davies stayed big to block after 55 minutes.
Wiltshire drifted inside off the right and popped in towards Katie O’Leary, whose dipper from 20 yards was held by Davies two minutes later. Murray collected Hanson’s splitting pass and found the net via the inside of the post, but the off-side flag again denied Doncaster on 62 minutes.
However, Watson pounced onto Murray’s cutting pass inside the area and slotted across goal for three with 66 minutes played. And 79 minutes saw Hanson’s cross from the left headed in by Murray inside the six-yard box for four.
Spurs kept going and Baptiste’s looped cross from the left eventually dropped to Lauren Pickett, whose header from close range was stopped by Davies in the 85th minute. And on the stroke of 90 minutes, Spurs’ persistence saw Martin manoeuvre past Davies and guide in for a late consolation goal.
Spurs Ladies: Toni-Anne Wayne, Sophie Mclean, Ryah Vyse, Renee Hector, Ashleigh Neville, Maya Vio (Hannah Mackenzie 45), Josie Green (Wendy Martin 45), Coral-Jade Haines (Lauren Pickett 81), Katie O’Leary, Bianca Baptiste, Sarah Wiltshire. Substitutes (not used): Chloe Morgan, Lucia Leon, Leah Rawle, Ronnell Humes.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nikki Davies, Sophie Barker, Mayumi Pacheco, Rhiannon Roberts, Leandra Little, Sam Tierney, Sophie Walton, Kirsty Hanson, Jess Sigsworth (Chloe Peplow 76), Christie Murray, Rebecca Raynor (Monique Watson 45). Substitute (not used): Rachel Newborough.
Spurs Ladies now don’t play again until Wednesday 6 December and a visit to Chelsea in the WSL Continental Tyres Cup. Kick-off at Kingsmeadow is at 7pm.