Doncaster Rovers Belles 0 Middlesbrough 2: Belles slip to third straight league defeat

Belles captain Izzy Whittle in action against Middlesbrough. Photo: Julian Barker

Doncaster Rovers Belles' hunt for their first points of the FA WNL Northern Premier Division season continues after they fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough.

Boro put the Belles under pressure from the early going, and found particular joy attacking down the left through England under-19s star Emily Scarr.

The winger forced a stop out of Emily Batty after five minutes, and the keeper saved well again from the resulting corner to deny Emma Brown.

Sarah Cramer opened the the scoring for the visitors after 32 minute; Doncaster were unable to get Scarr’s ball clear, and the midfielder powered the ball into the top corner.

Belles hit their first shot on target just before the break, with Olivia Cook getting forward from centre-back and trying one from just outside the box, but Laura Wareham made a comfortable stop.

Middlesbrough succeeded in limiting the Belles to long shots, with Georgia Marshall and Emily Burgin both testing out Wareham without success.

The visitors then doubled their lead midway through the second half, with substitute Eleanor Dale powering a header past Batty from a corner.

Scarr could have made it three just a couple of minutes later after going clear through on goal but Batty came off her line superbly to smother the danger.

Belles substitute Nadia Khan created a couple of issues in response, first beating the Boro right-back to force a last-ditch tackle from a covering defender, and then volleying a difficult dropping ball wide from a corner.

But the Belles were ultimately unable to find a way through, leaving them still looking for their first goal and their first points of the league season.

Belles: (4-2-3-1): Emily Batty, Imani Todman (Holly Dodsworth 46), Olivia Cook, Izzy Whittle, Lois Scholefield, Georgia Marshall, Sheldon Ashton, Abby Watkinson, Chloe Bethell (Nadia Khan 62), Zoe Belding, Emily Burgin

Subs not used: Chloe Gray, Ellie Parkin, Ashleigh Edwards

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