Missed opportunities and several injuries led to Belles juniors’ under-16s losing 2-1 to Aston Swallownest, writes Marie Gibb.
The first goal of the match went against the Belles when a long ball into the box caught the ‘keeper out of position and Aston netted.
After the setback, Doncaster applied good pressure and in the 20th minute Kesley O’Driscoll’s corner was headed into her own net by an Aston defender for 1-1.
Moments later, Kelly Griffiths had to leave the field following a knee injury followed by Anya Snow who sustained an ankle problem as Doncaster played the remainder of the half with ten players.
The Belles returned to the second half with their full quota as they began to play fluent football.
The Belles had the majority of possession and pinned the Aston side in their own half.
However, a defensive mix-up resulted in Aston’s second - and ultimately their match-winning goal - as the Belles ‘keeper advanced was undone by a well-placed lob.
The Belles continued to play good football but were unable to show the same clinical edge as their Sheffield counterparts.
With 10 minutes to spare, KD Roberts was denied a leveller following a fantastic full length save from the Aston shot-stopper.
‘Belle of the Ball’ went to Kaitlyn Doncaster for her brilliant determination and strength of performance down the left wing and wherever she was asked to play.
Next week the girls have a break which will be useful in order for the injured players to recover and return to match fitness.