The Doncaster Rovers Belles had a frustrating start to the new FA Womens Premier League season today as they were held at home by Blackburn Rovers, a match which they would have been expecting to take all three points from given the two sides’ respective league placings last season.
The Belles, playing with the wind at their backs on the Keepmoat Athletics Stadium field, took the lead midway through the first half as England international Rachel Williams turned the ball home from close range following a Belles corner. Williams could have doubled both her own and the Belles’ tally before the interval, but was denied a second goal by a debated offside call.
That decision came to haunt the Belles in the second half as Blackburn levelled just after the hour mark when Katy Ward got her head onto a through ball to equalise. Both sides had opportunities to win the game although it was the visitors who came closest with Belles’ keeper Nicola Hobbs forced to turn a dipping strike from Amy Kane over the bar.
The Belles return to action on the Bank Holiday weekend as they host Watford in the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday 30th August, kicking off at 2pm.
Doncaster Rovers Belles: Nicola Hobbs; Emily Simpkins, Natasha Staniland, Claire Utley, Chelsea Weston Precious Hamilton, Rachel Williams, Kasia Lipka (Paige Eli), Sarah Owen Naomi Chadwick, Vicky Exley.
subs not used: Vanessa Leat, Suzanne Davies, Emma Johnson, Tori Williams.