Doncaster Belles: Buckley remains positive

John Buckley expects Tori Williams to shake off an achilles injury for tonight's game. Michael Steele - The FA
John Buckley expects Tori Williams to shake off an achilles injury for tonight's game. Michael Steele - The FA

Doncaster Rovers Belles boss John Buckley believes his side can use their recent defeat to Everton positively when the pair face each other again tonight.

Beth England fired Belles ahead in the May 18 Continental Cup clash but were then made to rue a host of missed chances as clinical strikes from Toffees trio Nikita Parris, Vicky Jones and a Toni Duggan penalty punished the Doncaster hosts.

The two sides meet again tonight - this time in the Women’s Super League - with Belles keen to avenge their earlier defeat and register their first three points of the season.

“I want the players to go into the game with a similar attitude to the one they showed against Everton in the cup, we were very unlucky with some of the goals,” Buckley said.

“We just need to turn those chances into goals. I think if we had done that we would’ve been 4-1 up at one point.

“The game is a chance for us to work on what we know about Everton but to also keep that same determination and attitude we showed as well.”

The game saw midfielder Sue Smith play the whole game in what was a long-awaited return for the 33-year-old who had been sidelined for over a year with a knee injury.

Buckley raised concerns over the fitness of Jess Sigsworth, who has been suffering with shin splints, and Belles trio England, Leandra Little and Tori Williams who had been struggling with injury, however, all are expected to be fit enough for the Merseyside trip.

*Belles youngster Ashleigh Mills is celebrating this week after being called up into Mo Marley’s 30-player England under-19s squad ready for the Euro finals.

The 16-year-old joins regular international Sigsworth in the England set-up and John Buckley said the striker’s selection was vital for Mills’ development.

“I’m delighted for them both. It’s great for Ash and I’m even more pleased that Jess will be with her because she can take her under her wing and look after her,” the Scotsman said.

“Ash has been superb this season ever since we brought her. I love her attitude and the way she responds to things, she and Jess have a bright future here.”

Belles face Everton tonight, kick-off is 7.30pm.

Five days later Belles are back on their travels, this time to Lincoln Ladies on Tuesday evening (7.30pm kick-off).