DONCASTER Rovers Belles’ hopes of getting off the mark in the FA Women’s Super League at the second attempt on Sunday were washed away.
Heavy rain led to their match against Everton Ladies at the Keepmoat Stadium being called off by the match referee an hour before the scheduled 2pm kick-off.
“It was disappointing but I have no argument with the referee’s decision,” said Belles’ boss John Buckley.
“The pitch looked okay from the touchline but it was very heavy down the middle. The ball was getting caught in puddles of water when you tried to pass it and the referee had no choice.
“It was disappointing but at least it gives us more time to get keeper Mary Earps 100 per cent fit.”
Earps hurt her wrist playing for England and missed the league game at Chelsea. Now Belles hope she’ll be fully fit for Sunday’s game at Birmingham City.”
Belles lost 2-0 at home to Chelsea in the WFA Cup last month as well as going down 3-1 to the Blues in front of the ESPN cameras in their first league game.
“I felt, as did a lot of people who watched the game on television, that we deserved to get something out of the game,” said Buckley, who also saw his side go down 1-0 at home to Bristol Rovers Ladies in their opening FAWSL Continental Cup game.
Their only win to date came in the fifth round of the WFA Cup against Barnet.
But it was a win which came at a price with big name close-season signing from Lincoln, veteran England star Sue Smith, suffering a grade 2 tear of her medial knee ligament and a complete rupture of her cruciate ligament.
She will miss the rest of the season but has pledged to bounce back in 2013.
Buckley is hoping that his other signings, who make up around half his current squad, have better luck.
He has cast his net far and wide, signing both Canadian and Australian players.
It was Belles’ England star Katie Holtham, who was playing Down Under during the winter with Perth Glory, who spotted the potential of defender Tanya Oxtoby, who was interested in playing in England.
“Tanya has settled in well, “ said Buckley.
Among the number of players to have left the club since the end of last season is former skipper and veteran England star Vicky Exley, who decided to hang up her boots after a glittering career.