Brighton 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 0: Belles’ Spring Series title hopes suffer blow on south coast

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk was on the scoresheet again. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images
Courtney Sweetman-Kirk was on the scoresheet again. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Doncaster Rovers’ Belles hopes of winning the FAWSL2 Spring Series suffered a serious blow as they were held to goalless draw at Brighton on Saturday.

Belles dominated the game but were unable to turn their superiority into goals.

Brighton goalkeeper Emma Byrne denied Courtney Sweetman-Kirk from the penalty spot and pulled off a string of saves to keep the scoreline blank.

The draw means Belles are in fifth place in the standings, four points behind leaders Everton with just two games remaining.

Emily Simpkins fired a signal of intent for the Belles in the opening minute, but her effort was just wide.

And after 15 minutes of domination another big chance came for the visitors, only for Christie Murray to lob over Byrne, with the Seagulls keeper recovering well to prevent a goal.

And Byrne continued to keep her side in the game with a stop from Kirsty Hanson, before Sweetman-Kirk headed wide when unmarked on the half hour.

The keeper again denied Sweetman-Kirk when the forward looked certain to score with ten first half minutes to play.

And her heroics continued in the second period as she denied Sweetman-Kirk from the penalty spot after Murray was fouled by Charlotte Young on 58 minutes.

The penalty reprieve sparked Brighton into life as Kate Natkiel fired wide from distance shortly after, but it was still Belles looking the most likely to score.

And they thought they had a winner with two minutes to play, but instead Leandra Little was booked for a handball and the visitors had to settle for a point.

Belles welcome Aston Villa to the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

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