Lincoln Ladies 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 1

WAITING GAME: Former England star Vicky Exley preparing for the big kick off. Picture: Andrew Roe

WAITING GAME: Former England star Vicky Exley preparing for the big kick off. Picture: Andrew Roe

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SKIPPER Vicky Exley bagged the winner as Belles kicked off the inaugural Women’s Super League campaign in style.

The midfielder turned home Precious Hamilton’s cross on the stroke of half time to hand John Buckley’s side an impressive three points.

Belles deserved their slender advantage after carving out the best opportunities of the first half.

However, they had to defend stoutly after the break with Lincoln cranking up the pressure in search of an equaliser.

England international Sue Smith struck the inside of the Doncaster post for the home side and they failed to convert a number of other decent chances.

Hamilton could have wrapped up the game in the closing stages but stabbed wide from near range before forcing Lincoln keeper Kay Hawke into a superb save moments later.

But it mattered little as Belles remained firm to earn a historic victory on the opening day of the new professional league era.

Belles: Alderson, Cunningham, Karlsson, Williams, Sjoman, Holtham, Lipka, Exley, Hall (Bright 82), Hamilton, O’Gorman. Unused substitutes: Cox, Turner, Earps, Owen.