Buckley: Belles can call tune against Bristol

Belles' Leandra Little wins the header against Bristol. Picture: Andrew Roe
Belles' Leandra Little wins the header against Bristol. Picture: Andrew Roe

JOHN Buckley wants more of the same from his rejuvenated Doncaster Rovers Belles team when they host Bristol Academy on Saturday (6pm), writes Paul Goodwin.

Belles moved off the bottom of the FA Women’s Super League with only their second win of the season against Lincoln Ladies last week.

And they followed up a more dynamic attacking display with a performance full of desire to also earn a hard fought draw at title chasing Everton on Sunday.

Buckley now hopes his side can end a difficult season on a high, starting with the visit of Bristol this weekend.

He said: “We’re delighted with the last two results but I thought the turning point was the second half against Arsenal.

“We were 3-0 down but we only lost the second half 1-0 to a very strong Arsenal side.

“The girls looked a lot more organised.

“They took on board what we’ve been saying to them and they’ve carried that momentum on against Lincoln and Everton.

“It’s up to them to continue that this weekend.

“Bristol got a draw against Arsenal recently so that shows what we’re up against.

“But it’s a game we believe we’re capable of winning. We’re still hopeful of finishing above Lincoln who are sixth.”

Belles had only scored one goal in four previous home games before Thursday night’s visit of the Lady Imps.

But Buckley’s side adopted a shoot-on-sight philosophy and it paid off when Alyssa Lagonia’s effort from way out caught Lincoln goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs off her line.

Millie Bright doubled Doncaster’s advantage after the break but they had to hold on for a 2-1 win after former Belles star Precious Hamilton stooped to glance a header past Mary Earps.

Belles were clinging on for a point in similar fashion at Everton but they might have nicked all three points had the linesman not wrongly ruled out a late Aine O’Gorman effort for offside.

Defender Leandra Little put Doncaster ahead before the break but the home side deservedly levelled through Fara Williams.

Buckley said: “We played really well for the first twenty minutes but then started to give the ball away too cheaply.

“But the whole team put their bodies on the line to get a point, I was really pleased with the attitude and commitment.”

Canadian midfielder Tania Pedron has an outside chance of making a long-awaited Belles debut against Bristol following a long injury lay-off.