Thanks to a bout of over efficiency from Football Data Co and the FA plus a busy month at work (yep, I know its hard to believe, but this isn’t the day job) some of the more expansive elements of Viva Rovers’ output have been neglected recently. In fact we’ve come over all Charlton Athletic and completely shelved our female football commitments since September (trust us that joke would have killed round Hope Powell’s house). Anyway to readdress the balance, here is what you have missed;
September 6th; Birmingham City 0-1 Doncaster Rovers Belles
The Belles began September on a positive note with a 1-0 win against Birmingham City at the home of Stratford Town. Liz Hansen struck the decisive goal just twelve minutes in as she turned home Tori William’s excellent cross. Rachel Williams came closest to doubling the Belles lead but was denied by the crossbar while Birmingham ‘keeper Wood produced a string of fine saves to keep the score down. In the end a deserved three points for the Belles.
September 13th; Leeds City Vixens 0-5 Doncaster Rovers Belles
Doncaster kept up their winning run with an emphatic away win in the Premier League Cup at Yorkshire Amateurs’ ground in Leeds. Goals from Emily Simpkins, Vanessa Leat, Millie Bright and a brace from Vicky Exley made the difference in a game which the Belles controlled from the start.
September 20th; Leeds Carnegie 2-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles
The Belles second visit to Leeds inside eight days was to prove much less fruitful than their earlier visit as they went down 2-0 in this Premier League fixture at Throstle Nest, the home of Farsley Celtic. The home side started the brighter and only the post denied Ellen White an opening goal. Rachel Williams and Precious Hamilton had chances for the Belles before Leeds opened the scoring three minutes before the break as Jess Clarke latched onto a through ball. Doncaster came out for the second half determined to draw level but Leeds again had the better chances, with Remi Allen the second home player to strike the post. Four minutes from time Leeds secured the points as they struck their second goal, Ellen White finding the net from the edge of the box.
September 27th; Millwall Lionesses 2-0 Doncaster Rovers Belles
A fourth straight away game saw the Belles travel to Beckenham Town to face the surprise early form side of the Women’s Premier League; Millwall Lionesses. The Belles started brightly with Rachel Williams, Vicky Exley and Tori Williams all came close as did Liz Hansen as Doncaster had at least three seeming goals somehow turned away from the Lionesses’ goal line. Despite the Belles having the better of the chances it was Millwall who took the lead as Morgan lobbed keeper Claire Farrow from the edge of the box.
Williams came close to an equaliser early in the second half but the home side, buoyed by the goal, were starting to assert themselves. Morgan struck the crossbar for the Lionesses while Emma Beckett headed over. Emily Simpkins and Precious Hamilton both had chances for an equaliser but instead the next goal again went the way of the hosts. Heatherson beating Farrow to put Millwall 2-0 ahead and despite a late push for the unfortunate Belles that was how it ended.
September 30th; Nottingham Forest 2-4 Doncaster Rovers Belles
The fifth episode of the Belles month long road trip saw them pitch up at Carlton Town to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League. Thankfully this game also saw a return to winning ways as Doncaster came out all guns blazing. Vanessa Leat opened the scoring with a fine twenty-five yard effort just three minutes in and by the tenth minute it was 2-0 as Vicky Exley doubled Donny’s advantage. And before the quarter of an hour mark it was 3-0 with Kasia Lipka scoring her first Belles goal.
Though the Belles were firmly in control there was a brief scare as Levi Penny pulled a goal back for Forest on 41 minutes. However, by the 42nd minute the previous three goal cushion had been restored by a Liz Hansen volley. A scrappier second half got tense for the Belles twenty minutes in when Danni Duffy pulled the score back to 4-2, but the Belles had already done more than enough to secure a deserved victory.
October 4th; Doncaster Rovers Belles 3-1 Leicester City
Back on the unfamiliar footing of home ground the Belles eased into the quarter finals of the FA Premier League Cup with victory over Leicester City of the Northern Division. It took just eleven minutes for the Belles to take the lead as Liz Hansen struck with a firm right foot finish. Ten minutes later and it was 2-0 with Vicky Exley on target to continue her run of form, but Leicester were not to roll over and the visitors pulled a goal back on the half hour mark through Kirsty Robson. The Belles re-established their two goal cushion after the break as ex-Leicester player Rachel Williams rose to head home Prescious Hamilton’s cross and that was to be how it stayed.
The Belles currently sit fifth in the Women’s Premier League with a record of two wins, two draws and two defeats from their six games thus far. The return to winning ways against Forest and Leicester could prove timely giving Doncaster a welcome boost ahead of Sunday’s formidable looking trip to face Arsenal. The Gunners currently sit eleventh place but that is down to a lack of action more than anything with their match against Rovers only their second league game of the season thus far. In the Cup the Belles have been handed a tough quarter final draw with a trip to face Everton scheduled for the 1st November.