DONCASTER ROVERS BELLES: No home joy for lowly Belles

John Buckley: Belles' boss
John Buckley: Belles' boss

DONCASTER Rovers Belles could still end the season propping up the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) table.

They failed to pick up the point they needed to condemn Liverpool Ladies, beaten 4-1 at leaders Arsenal the previous day, to the wooden spoon in their final home game of the season against Birmingham City Ladies at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday evening.

The Blues ran out comfortable 2-0 winners on a wet and windy night to climb into second spot in the table.

John Buckley’ side went into the game on the back of a decent run of results and had been hopeful of picking up a result despite the visitors fielding a number of internationals in their ranks.

But once the visitors had broken the deadlock on 24 minutes with a goal by striker Eni Aluko, who caused Belles problems throughout, the writing was on the wall.

The Blues, who had carved out several good chances before the goal - Izzy Christianson hitting the crossbar with keeper Mary Earps beaten - adapted much better to the conditions than the home side and knocked the ball about at a pace Belles struggled to match.

Belles rarely troubled the Birmingham keeper and fell further behind in the second half - Jade Moore producing a neat finish from Kerys Harrop’s ball into the box.

The Blues always looked capable of adding to their tally, though Belles looked better going forward when Beth England came off the bench on the hour.

“I was disappointed with it being our last home game,” said boss Buckley. “I don’t think that there was too much difference between the two teams until they scored after which we seemed to go into our shell. We also gave the ball away far too easily and you can’t afford to do that against a team as good as Birmingham.

“I had a few words with the girls at half-time and I thought we did a bit better in the second half, but their second goal killed the game.

“I thought Beth England did well when she came on, but over the 90 minutes all our shots on goal were from long range.”