Belles set for home double

Maria Karlsson meets Sven Goran-Eriksson.
Maria Karlsson meets Sven Goran-Eriksson.

BELLES boss John Buckley is targetting a five-point return from a Keepmoat Stadium Super League triple-header.

Buckley’s side were hoping to bounce back from Sunday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at Bristol Academy when they entertained WSL bottom club Liverpool last night.

They host mighty Arsenal on Saturday before next Wednesday night’s televised clash at home to Everton - which the club announced this week will be free entry for spectators.

Buckley said: “This run of three home games is a great opportunity to get back on track.

“I’d be absolutely delighted with two draws and a win - maybe even two wins.

“But to get anywhere close to that we’ll have to play a lot better than we did at Bristol.

“It’s always a bonus if you get anything against Arsenal, although a few teams have closed the gap on them this year.

“And Everton are a top team too.

“They’ve had a difficult start but I expect them to come good.

“We need to get back to basics really because the performance at the weekend was poor,” he added.

“The girls let their standards slip and we need a big improvement - this is a big week for us.”

Buckley’s side were left reeling by Bristol’s late show on Sunday - although they could have few complaints about the result after delivering a below-par performance in their fourth WSL run out.

Substitute Loren Dykes came off the bench to score with her first touch and settle a scrappy game with just six minutes remaining.

The home side had the better of the chances, although the Belles did have their moments.

Katie Holtham headed inches over the bar from Kylla Sjoman’s corner, while Academy keeper Siobhan Chamberlain saved Vicky Exley’s fierce 25-yard free kick.

Belles keeper Helen Alderson, meanwhile, had to be alert to thwart efforts from Helen Bleazard and Grace McCatty.

The decisive moment came when Lillie Billson played in Dykes who fired home to move basement side Bristol up to fifth in the table - level on points with the Belles prior to last night’s games.

Buckley said: “There are no excuses for the performance.

“It’s as poor as we’ve played for a long time.

“We just couldn’t keep the ball - and if you do that at this level you’ll get punished.

“The goal we conceded was a comedy of errors on our part.

“We need to raise our game considerably.”

n Belles got the backing of Sven Goran Eriksson when the former England boss brought his Leicester team to Doncaster at the weekend.

Sven took time out of his busy schedule to meet fellow Swede Maria Karlsson, who became the first Super League player from Sweden when she joined the Belles earlier this year.

Sven said: “It was fantastic to meet Maria and wish her and Doncaster Belles luck for the new Super League.

“The WSL is an interesting concept and it should really help the women’s game in this country.”

n Fans of all ages will be admitted for free next Wednesday night when the Belles face Everton at the Keepmoat Stadium (7.45pm).

The game is live on ESPN.