`

Millwall Lionesses 0 Doncaster Rovers Belles 1: Belles celebrate FAWSL2 title triumph with hard earned win

Doncaster Rovers Belles celebrate winning FAWSL2. Photo: Nicola Chicken
Doncaster Rovers Belles celebrate winning FAWSL2. Photo: Nicola Chicken

Doncaster Rovers Belles celebrated their FA Women’s Super League 2 triumph with victory at Millwall.

Jade Pennock’s heavily-deflected strike was enough to hand Neil Redfearn’s team all three points.

With Brighton losing 4-0 at Durham earlier in the day, Doncaster had already secured the title before kicking a ball.

The hosts applied early pressure, and Charlie Devlin fired over after good work from Rianna Dean in the box.

Kirsty Hanson then headed straight at Millwall keeper Sarah Quantrill as the champions looked for a foothold in the game.

The hosts should have taken the lead when Devlin burst clear and squared to Ashlee Hincks, but her scuffed shot was saved well by Bethan Davies in the Doncaster goal.

Minutes later, Hincks’ shot on the turn flew narrowly over the bar.

Hanson was causing problems for the Lionesses’ defence, and saw her angled drive pushed wide by Quantrill.

Leighanne Robe’s free-kick on the halfway line almost caught out Davies, who had to stretch to palm it away.

Devlin had the first chance of the second half, firing straight at Quantrill.

Rebecca Rayner showed great skill in the box to work space for a shot, but the keeper was equal to it.

Millwall looked the more dangerous side, but Doncaster took the lead late on.

Rhiannon Roberts saw her header somehow cleared off the line, but the ball wasn’t cleared and Pennock’s shot from outside the box was deflected into the corner of the net on 75 minutes.

With seconds left, Davies pulled off a stunning save from Devlin’s free-kick to preserve her clean sheet.

Belles captain Leandra Little said: “It speaks volumes about our character as a team, about our determination, because we wanted to ensure we not only won the league but gained as many points as we can.

“We obviously knew the outcome before we went out there but that was really empowering for us because that enables us to just enjoy the game.

“It was really hard at times and warm and they made it really difficult for us.

“It makes it sweeter having won the league and won the game as well. It would have been mixed emotions if we’d lost today.

“It was massive relief when the goal went in.

“Jade (Pennock) came off the bench to do it for us today, and that’s something that’s happened all season. People who’ve come onto the pitch have got vital goals at vital times.”