Doncaster Belles: No cause for panic - Staniforth

Rachel Furness celebrates Sunderland's second against Belles.
Rachel Furness celebrates Sunderland's second against Belles.

Gordon Staniforth has urged calm amongst his squad after the Belles suffered a defeat which ended a five-game winning run.

Barring their FA Women’s Cup defeat to Birmingham, the Belles have not suffered a loss all season with their early form propelling the side to both the summit of the FAWSL2 division and their Continental Cup group.

However, goals from Beth Mead and Rachel Furness gave Sunderland a 2-0 win over Doncaster on Thursday night in the Continental Cup - putting the Black Cats level on points with the leaders.

Despite the setback, Staniforth insists there is no panic within his side.

“We lost it in the first half, we didn’t do enough,” Doncaster’s chief said.

“I asked for a response at half time and I got it but it just wasn’t enough.

“If I hadn’t have had a response in the second half, I would’ve been very, very disappointed.

“I thought they [Sunderland] were excellent, It didn’t surprise me. They have some very good, young players. They caught us in the first half with two goals.

“They had a lot of possession first half and we just seemed a yard short. But second half I think we’ve had over 30 opportunities in the game and we should’ve done better.

“The biggest thing we have to do now is take stock of the injuries, one or two have picked up knocks.

“I want to see how Beth England is, Lauren [Cresswell] has a bit of a strain as well, that’s what we do. What we don’t do is panic.”

The Belles have the chance to bounce back when they host Watford at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday in the FAWSL2 (2pm kick-off).