Doncaster Rovers Belles 0 Birmingham City Ladies 1

Jess Sigsworth in action against Birmingham. Photo: Carl Lygo

Jess Sigsworth in action against Birmingham. Photo: Carl Lygo

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It was a case of deja-vu for Doncaster Rovers Belles as they lost in gallant fashion to Birmingham City Ladies.

Emma Coates' side continued to show signs of improvement in their general play and probably deserved a share of the spoils but their lack of conviction in the final third - and one lapse in concentration - cost them dearly.

Bottom of the table Belles remain without a point from their opening seven league games and face an uphill struggle to preserve their FAWSL1 status.

They gave as good as they got though in a keenly fought first half, without troubling Blues' goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley.

Isobelle Linden should have scored for City when the home side failed to defend a throw in, Andrine Hegerberg also curled a free kick just wide and Doncaster goalkeeper Nicola Hobbs had to be alert to tip Charlie Wellings' header wide on the stroke of half time.

Carla Humphrey went close for the Belles with a long range effort that looped just over.

Belles started the second period in confident fashion and missed a glorious chance to take the lead when Katrin Omarsdottir seized upon a loose back-pass from Kerys Harrop but could only fire her shot wide after excellent defensive work from Aoife Mannion.

The hosts were made to pay just after the hour mark when Kirsty Linnett scored within seconds of coming off the bench for Birmingham when her run wasn't tracked and she coolly chipped Hobbs.

Omarsdottir later had a great chance to make amends for her miss but, after being played in by Humphrey, saw her shot well saved by Baggaley. Leandra Little also headed a late chance over the bar.

Belles: Hobbs, Barker, Roberts, Little, Pacheco, Lipka, Simpkins (Tierney 42), Barker, Omarsdottir, Humphrey, Sigsworth (Cresswell 81). Subs not used: Moorhouse, Newborough, Mosby, Mathews, Smith.

Birmingham City: Baggaley, Mannion, Westwood, Harrop, Carter, Peplow, Stringer, Hegerberg, Schofield, Wellings (Edwards 90), Linden (Linnett 60). Subs not used: Johnson, Berger.

Attendance: 504