Doncaster Rovers Belles 3 Everton 3: Belles left frustrated after six-goal thriller

Doncaster Belles in their post-match huddle. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images
Doncaster Belles in their post-match huddle. Photo: The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Courtney Sweetman-Kirk bagged a double as Doncaster Rovers Belles came from behind to earn a share of the spoils in an enthralling FA WSL Spring Series encounter with Everton at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Goals inside the first 20 minutes from Georgia Brougham and Claudia Walker put Everton in control as the Belles struggled to gain any sort of foothold.

Brougham bundled home a corner in scrappy fashion within the first three minutes before a slick move allowed Walker to roll into an empty net after rounding Nicky Davies.

Emma Coates’ side needed a spark and Christie Murray provided it before the break, nutmegging two players before unleashing an effort that hit both posts before Sweetman-Kirk hammered home the rebound.

It was all square within minutes of the break, goal scorer Brougham brought down Sweetman-Kirk in the area and the striker picked herself up to fire home the leveller.

The comeback looked to be complete when captain Leandra Little thumped a header home from a corner but Everton substitute Olivia Chance had other ideas, smashing home a screamer from outside the area with five minutes to go.

It was Everton who nearly nicked it, defender Gabby George firing inches over the bar deep into stoppage time but it ended honours even.

Belles defender Maz Pacheco said: “We started so slowly and it wasn’t the start we wanted. We were aiming for a comeback from Watford on Thursday night but in the first half an hour we just didn’t show it.

“We needed to step up and we did but it wasn’t good enough for us in the end. We couldn’t hold on when we needed to and we need to improve that on Thursday.

“It was a slow start, maybe Thursday night contributed but we’re here to win. We’re here to make a statement because we want to get promoted when the full season comes around.”

Belles go to Sheffield on Thursday and Millwall on Sunday.