Doncaster Belles: Searching for positives

Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC's Kasia Lipka and Tori Williams in action against Bristol Academy. Picture: Steve Taylor

Doncaster Rovers Belles LFC's Kasia Lipka and Tori Williams in action against Bristol Academy. Picture: Steve Taylor

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John Buckley wants Belles to take their second half performance in the Bristol Academy defeat into the game with Chelsea.

Saturday sees the Belles in Continental Cup action against the Blues after suffering a 2-0 defeat and an FA Cup fifth round exit to Bristol on home soil at the weekend.

Despite the disappointing result, Buckley remained positive and wants the Belles to start well against Chelsea when they host the North Londoners at the Keepmoat Stadium (6pm).

“I am disappointed but I thought the second half was a big positive and that’s how we need to play,” he said.

“Bristol were the better team in the first half, but I think we did really well in the second. We were just lacking that bit of quality in the box.

“We were far better organised. I pushed three forward to give Jess Sigsworth more support and that seemed to work.

“We were guilty of not taking our chances. Millie Bright, Sigsworth and Bethany England all could have scored.”

Belles, again without star midfielder Sue Smith due to injury, went behind in the 22nd minute when Bristol’s Corinne Yorston curled a sublime effort into the top corner.

Sigsworth could have levelled three minutes later but skewed a strike wide before Bristol’s mercurial forward Laura Del Rio Garcia saw her free-kick crash off the bar.

Belles stepped up in the second half and had a glorious chance to equalise when England and Victoria Williams combined to release Sigsworth, who flashed her strike inches wide.

Bristol struck the killer blow in the 55th minute when Ann-Marie Heatherson pounced on a Nicola Hobbs parry.

Bright then flashed a header wide before England blazed a free-kick over the bar.

Buckley later introduced 16-year-old defender Ashleigh Mills who has just been promoted from the reserves, however, Bristol came away with the cup win to condemn Belles’ fate.