Doncaster Rovers Belles 2 Millwall Lionesses 2: Belles let victory slip from their grasp against battling Lionesses
Defender Rhiannon Roberts conceded that Doncaster Rovers Belles must do better after letting a two-goal lead slip against Millwall Lionesses in FAWSL2.
Goals from Rebecca Rayner and Roberts looked to have done enough to earn the Belles the points in the opening half hour.
But Charlie Devlin pulled one back just before half time and Ashlee Hincks poked in the equaliser with two minutes remaining.
Roberts said: “Obviously it’s a little bit disappointing when we go 2-0 up. It’s a bit hard to take. It shouldn’t really feel like a loss because we’ve got a good point on the board.
“It’s the first home game of the season but we really should be playing teams like that off the park I think but it just wasn’t meant to be.
“They were fighters and we didn’t really step up to the mark physically. The second half just wasn’t going for us. In the first half we had some good combinations and were in a good position at half time.
“We’ve just got to finish games off nice and early on.
“2-0 is a difficult scoreline,” she added. “If you score one more to go 3-0 up then you’ve pretty much killed the game off. If not then you let oppositions back in the game. We just need to manage games a little better.”
Hincks was inches away from giving the visitors an early lead as her freekick from the left wing cannoned off the crossbar.
Doncaster scored the opening goal in fortuitous fashion as Sarah Quantrill punched a cross straight into Rayner and the ball rebounded into the net.
It took a good save from Jules Draycott, who had earlier denied Hincks, to maintain the advantage as she parried away Leanne Cowan’s drive from the middle of the box.
Roberts doubled the lead just short of the half hour mark as she volleyed in from Chloe Peplow’s freekick after Leandra Little headed over.
Millwall got themselves back into the game on the brink of half time with Devlin’s strike deflecting past Draycott.
Devlin turned provider for what should have been the equalising goal early in the second half but Ella Rutherford blazed over from her pullback.
Jess Sigsworth was denied at the other end before Christie Murray called Quantrill into action again with a fine save.
Doncaster could not hold on though as Hincks raced onto a long ball and poked the ball past Draycott to earn a point late on.
Belles travel to Oxford United on Sunday.
Belles: Draycott, Barker, Roberts, Little, Pacheco, Peplow, Walton, Sigsworth, Murray, Hanson (Tierney 90), Rayner (Simpkins 72). Subs not used: Newborough.