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Sunday, 14 January, 2001, 18:50 GMT
Belles hell for Barry Town
Doncaster Belles - generic
Belles were in no mood to lay down

By BBC Sport Online's Tony Leighton

Doncaster Belles wing-back Aran Embleton was the star performer on a day when England players shone in club matches ahead of this week's first national training camp of the new year.

Under-18 international Embleton celebrated her call-up to the senior squad with a hat-trick as the Belles destroyed Barry Town.

England colleague Melanie Garside scored twice as did veteran international Marieanne Spacey in Arsenal's narrow victory over Everton.

Arsenal and the Belles are now in virtually a two-horse race for the National Division championship, won last year by Charlton Athletic.

Their biggest win of the season came against Millwall Lionesses with England players Tara Proctor and Justine Lorton both on the scoresheet.

There was a note of concern for club and country, however, when Charlton's first choice England goalkeeper Pauline Cope had to be substituted after damaging ribs.


Arsenal 2-1 Everton

Top of the table Arsenal had to come from behind to retain their seven point lead over Doncaster Belles, who have three games in hand and are likely to press the Gunners all the way for the Premier League crown.

Third placed Everton's faint chance of catching the top two was effectively ended with this result, though there may have been a different outcome if they had been able to capitalise on Sammy Britton's superbly struck 13th-minute opener.

Jody Handley had an effort cleared off the Arsenal line shortly before the break, but in the second period the home side's persistence paid off as Spacey broke Everton's resistance.

The 34-year old striker equalised with a well taken goal in the 55th minute then, four minutes later, she took advantage of slack marking to hit the winner.  


Doncaster Belles 5-0 Barry Town

The Belles, who have no fewer than nine players reporting to the England training camp, maintained their remarkable 100% record in all competitions with a comprehensive victory inspired by Embleton.

The wing-back is normally noted for creating rather than taking goalscoring opportunities, but two strikes in the opening 24 minutes set her on the way to her first Belles hat-trick.

Garside's two second half efforts sandwiched Embleton's 74th minute hat-trick goal as Donny went nap to step up their pursuit of Arsenal.


Charlton Athletic 5-0 Millwall Lionesses

Reigning champions Charlton will cling on to their slim hopes of winning the title again following a victory which was as good as clinched in the first quarter of their London derby.

After Emily Arnold had opened the scoring, England midfielder Proctor grabbed two goals in rapid succession to give the home side a 3-0 advantage by the 22nd minute.

The enforced half-time substitution of injured keeper Cope but a dampener on proceedings for the Addicks, but second half goals by Lorton and Emma Moore nevertheless completed a convincing victory.

They are now fifth in the table and have lost only one match, but their large back-log of fixtures will be a heavy burden as they attempt to close the gap on the top two.


FA Cup Round Four

Away from the League there were welcome Cup results for the National Division's bottom two clubs, Liverpool and Southampton Saints, in fourth round ties delayed from last week's originally scheduled date.

Liverpool 3-0 Chester

An early goal by Gill Hart set Liverpool up for victory as the Merseysiders put their miserable League record temporarily out of mind.

Rock bottom and without a point in the National Division, Liverpool were always in control against their North West Regional League opponents following Hart's ninth minute strike.

Julie Hewitt increased the lead eight minutes before the break then, despite a spirited second half performance by the visitors, Lindsay Schofield wrapped up victory with the final goal 11 minutes from time.


Wimbledon 0-4 Southampton Saints

Southampton are one of the main candidates for relegation along with seemingly doomed Liverpool, but they had a comfortable Cup win against one of the teams vying for promotion from the Southern Division to the top flight.

On a heavy pitch which was a major factor in the game remaining scrappy throughout, first half goals by Shelley Cox and Sharon Hayes put the Saints in command.

As the visitors maintained their grip after the interval, Katie Poore stretched the lead before Cox completed the scoring with her second goal of the afternoon.


Northern Division

Outside the National Division the battle is hotting up for promotion to the top flight, particularly in the Northern Division where an exciting five-team scrap is developing for the one promotion place available.

In the weekend's biggest contest leaders Oldham Curzon travelled to third placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, who went into the game equal on points with the visitors but having played one match fewer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Oldham Curzon

A last minute goal by Kelly Dean kept Oldham on top of the table after a hard fought contest against classy Wolves.

Nicola Mayet had put the visitors in front, but Wolves enjoyed plenty of possession throughout the game as they looked for at least a point.

They created one or two half-chances but Oldham, well organised and superbly disciplined in defence, held out to clinch a vital victory.  

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See also:

10 Jan 01 |  Wales
Welsh Ladies face league exit
07 Jan 01 |  Football
Abbot jumps to Charlton's defence
05 Jan 01 |  Football
Time for take off
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