Doncaster Rovers Belles’ start to the new FA Tesco Women’s Premier League season is going much the way of their male contemporaries start to the Championship. Held by Watford at the Keepmoat Stadium today the Belles have now drawn their opening two fixtures and will be frustrated not to have made a better start to the campaign, particularly after leading 2-0 at half-time against the Hornets.
The Belles had started brightly and took the lead through Sarah Owen. Watford ‘keeper Marie Hourihan had come out to intercept Precious Hamilton Belles striker but ahd succeded only in playing the ball to Oweb who slotted home into the empty net. Rachel Williams almost doubled the lead when she forged an opportunity froma corner, but her effort flew across the face of the goal. However the second goal duly came before the break as Hamilton manged to chip a defender on the goal-line after Hourihan had diverted a corner to the feet of the Belles’ forward.
Less than two minutes into the second half though the game’s momentum shifted as Watford reduced the deficit through Kate Longhurst’s shot from just outside the area. Buoyed by this goal the visitors continued to push and levelled the scores with twenty minutes remaining as Annie Barrett rose to head home a free-kick. The Belles rallied late in the game and Liz Hansen got in a low shot that looked goalbound only for Hourihan to block and deny the Canadian a goal on her return to Doncaster and secure a point for her side. The Belles will hope to finally pick up their first win when they travel to play Birmingham City next Sunday.
Rovers Belles line-up: Nicola Hobbs; Emily Simpkins, Natasha Staniland, Claire Utley, Chelsea Weston; Rachel Williams, Sara Owen, Naomi Chadwick (Tori Williams), Kasia Lipka (Paige Eli); Precious Hamilton, Liz Hansen (Millie Bright)
subs not used: Vanessa Leat, Emma Johnson