Belles urged to shoot on sight

Belles' Julie-Ann Russell has a shot at goal against Chelsea. Picture: Andrew Roe
Belles' Julie-Ann Russell has a shot at goal against Chelsea. Picture: Andrew Roe

MISFIRING Doncaster Rovers Belles can still hit their targets for the new Super League season, according to John Buckley.

But Belles’ frustrated boss admits his girls could face a difficult campaign if they do not raise their game in the attacking third.

Doncaster failed to find the net for a second successive Sunday as they exited the FA Cup to a more clinical Chelsea outfit.

Buckley’s side face the Blues again when season two of the FAWSL kicks off over the Easter weekend.

He said: “I’ve got to be honest, I thought Chelsea were the better team on Sunday.

“But up until their first goal they did not carve us open at all, and just before they scored we were having our best spell in the game.

“A lot of the games will be tight this season and when we are on top we need to press home our advantage.

“The girls need to take more responsibility in the final third and have a go.

“There needs to be a bit more movement and communication.

“And when we get an opportunity in front of goal we have to make sure we take it.”

Buckley’s side matched Chelsea for endeavour and spirit but two goals in the final quarter of the game ended their hopes of a cup run.

Gemma Bonner bundled home Sophie Ingle’s 73rd minute corner at the back post to break the deadlock - just moments after Julie-Ann Russell had gone closest to scoring at the other end.

The lively Irish winger latched onto Aine O’Gorman’s through ball but fired just over.

Dunia Susi then headed home Danni Buet’s corner to seal the Londoner’s place in the last four.

The quarter final was watched by an impressive crowd of 538 at the Keepmoat Stadium, a figure which delighted Buckley and his team.

Buckley said: “I thought it was outstanding how the crowd really got behind us - and the girls certainly felt that way as well.

“I’d really like to urge the people who came to support us to stick with us - we will get better as the season goes on.

“It was fantastic to see so many families and youngsters at the game.”

Belles’ opening FAWSL game against Chelsea, at Staines, is live on ESPN on Monday, April 9 (3pm).