Lincoln 1-2 Doncaster
DONCASTER Rovers Belles manager John Buckley has challenged his side to build on their surprise 2-1 victory at Lincoln Ladies.
The Belles travelled to Ashby Avenue without a point in the Women’s Super League and it looked set to be another long night for the Yorkshire club when Rachel Daly nodded the Lady Imps in front in the 11th minute.
But two goals in a minute from Millie Bright and Katie Holtham gave Doncaster the lead before half-time.
Lincoln pressed for an equaliser in the second half, but struggled to create chances in open play as Doncaster held on to secure a much-needed victory.
“We’ve been due a win,” declared Buckley. “I’ve got a lot of faith in the girls. They dug deep and did ever so well.
“We’re really pleased with the result because we knew how difficult this game was going to be.
“This could be a stepping stone for us. Hopefully we can build on this result.”
Lincoln boss Glen Harris was hugely disappointed with the defeat, particularly after seeing his side make such a strong start to the game.
“For 20 minutes we played them off the park,” said Harris. “We got the goal, had a few chances to kill the game off, then we got sloppy.
“We conceded two goals which were preventable and they got their noses in front. And for 10 minutes after that, they looked the better side.”
With confidence high following two positive results against Arsenal, Lincoln started brightly and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 11th minute.
Lucy Staniforth, a regular threat from set-pieces, sent over a tantalising corner which sailed over keeper Mary Earps and was nodded into the net by Daly.
The home side, oozing with confidence, almost doubled their lead immediately after following a wonderful move, but Earps denied Collette McCallum from close range.
There was a moment of promise for the Belles in the 29th minute. Superb trickery from Aine O’Gorman ended with her cross-shot being beaten out by Nicola Hobbs. The resulting corner was headed into the ground and over the bar by Holtham.
The Lady Imps failed to heed that warning and, in a minute of madness, found themselves 2-1 down. Both were sloppy goals to concede.
First, Bright beat Hobbs to the ball and headed her side level. Then, within 60 seconds, Hobbs appeared to be crowded out at a corner and Holtham bundled the ball home.
Lincoln pressed for an equaliser in the second half, but struggled to create chances. Staniforth went closest to making it 2-2 with an audacious free-kick which almost surprised Earps, but the Rovers keeper made a fine save.
Lincoln Ladies (4-4-2): Hobbs; Barker (Bradley 63), Walton, Stoney, Daly; Harris (Rood 73), Allen, Staniforth, McCallum; Hamilton, Cantrell (Sargeant 86).
Subs not used: Martha Harris, Roberts.
Red cards: None
Doncaster: (4-4-2): Earps; Sowerby, Cunningham, Little, Chadwick (Oxtoby 63); Lagonia (Russell 81), Lipka, Holtham, O’Gorman (England 77); Bright, Sigsworth.
Subs not used: Hills.
Red cards: None
Ref: Jane Simms