An injury-ravaged Belles under-16s side were unable to stop a confident Handsworth display as they lost 5-2, writes Marie Gibb.
It was an eagerly-anticipated game of football between first and second and, following Belles’ victory last week in the cup semi-final, the side were full of confidence, however, their extensive injury list soon told.
An end-to-end opening saw Handsworth strike first as Doncaster goalkeeper Georgia Wattam was unable to stop the follow-up after making a good initial save with her feet.
The Belles began to settle and exert pressure when a Jade Smedley strike cannoned off the Handsworth crossbar.
The equaliser soon followed as Kesley O’Driscoll flicked-on a goal-kick into the path of Caitlin Gunnell who composed herself and fired into the bottom corner.
However, the scoreline was soon altered three minutes later when Handsworth struck their second of the game.
Belles once more to levelled proceedings, this time O’Driscoll found Anya Snow who lashed an effort past the keeper.
Handsworth burst out of the blocks after the restart, slotting in two quick-fire strikes before a counter-attack led to their fifth and final goal.
Melissa Waters was Doncaster’s ‘Belle of the Ball’.
The result sees the Sheffield & Hallam title race remain wide open with league leaders Doncaster just two points ahead of Handsworth who have a game in hand.