Goals from Remi Allen, Kirsty Linnett and Jo Potter were enough to seal the hosts’ spot in the last eight as Blues made their debut at Solihull Moors’ Autotech Stadium.
It did not take long for Blues to settle in at their new home and they took the lead with only eight minutes on the clock. A pass in to the feet of Linnett was cleverly dummied by the striker and she latched on to the ball to drill a cross in to Allen, who had an open goal to tap in to from six yards out. It was the midfielder’s third goal in as many games since making the switch from Lincoln in January.
With 33 minutes on the clock, Doncaster had their first real chance of the afternoon. A cross from Lauren Cresswell caught out Blues goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer, but Millie Bright saw her drilled effort blocked by Kerys Harrop to maintain Blues’ lead.
Three minutes later, Blues should have doubled their advantage. A burst of pace down the right-hand side saw captain Karen Carney lose her marker and she put the ball on a plate for Linnett, but the striker saw her effort clear the crossbar with the goal gaping.
A game of few chances saw the sides trade possession but not chances in the second and it was not until the 73rd minute that another opportunity presented itself. However, when it did, it was converted by Belles’ captain Leandra Little.
Jess Sigsworth shook off the attentions of debutant Meaghan Sergeant and crossed from the right-wing where Little got ahead of her marker to prod home an equaliser, sparking jubilant scenes in the away dugout.
That goal sparked Blues in to life and three minutes later, Melissa Lawley should have restored the hosts’ advantage. Carney and Linnett linked up to free the striker down the right-hand side and she rolled the ball square to Lawley, but her effort was smothered by Hobbs in the visiting goal.
Blues were dominating proceedings now and got their rewards with two minutes remaining. Jade Moore was bundled over just outside the box and Potter’s delivery caused havoc in the Belles box. Eventually, the ball was hooked clear b the visiting defenders, but it struck Linnett and looped over Hobbs to give Blues a fortunate lead.
There was nothing fortunate about the third goal, however.
When Hobbs’ clearance failed to have the desired distance on it, Potter produced a bit of magic to fire home from 30 yards and seal Blues’ place in tomorrow’s quarter-final draw.
Blues Ladies: Spencer; Weston, Sargeant, Harrop, Torkildsen; Potter, Moore; Carney, Allen, Lawley; Linnett.
Unused subs: Baggaley, Carter, Mannion, Keryakoplis, Simpkins.
Goals: Allen (8), Linnett (88), Potter (90).
Doncaster Belles: Hobbs; Cunningham, Little, Roberts, Cresswell; Smith, Lipka, Bright, England (Mills, 58), Chadwick (Williams, 70); Sigsworth
Unused subs: Knight, Johnson.
Bookings: Williams, Bright.
Goals: Little (73)