Report: Belles 2 Huddersfield 2
Doncaster Rovers Belles were made to hold on superbly to take a 2-2 draw from a hugely entertaining game against high-flying Huddersfield.
The visitors sit second in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division table hammered the Belles 6-1 last time these sides met in September, but the Belles took this return fixture as an opportunity to show how far they have developed over the last five months.
The Belles had already shown their growing maturity in coming from 2-0 behind and 1-0 behind to claim draws in their last two games – against Sunderland and Nottingham Forest respectively.
But remarkably they found themselves 2-0 up on this occasion. Kirsty Smith opened the scoring after 21 minutes, smashing the ball in with a sweetly-struck left-footed drive that dipped in just under the bar.
Abby Watkinson went close to making in 2-0 seven minutes later, but was halted by a last-ditch Huddersfield tackle after rounding the goalkeeper.
But there was no stopping Chloe Bethell’s header on 31 minutes, with the winger looping the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to give Donny an unlikely lead.
The visitors pulled one back six minutes later through Lucy Sowerby, who followed the ball in after Emily Batty had saved her first attempt.
Town had a goal disallowed before the break for offside, but Sarah Dobby chested the ball into the net from a corner midway through the second half to level things up for real.
That set up a nervous finish for Shaw and her side as they were made to ride out numerous corners and crossed free kicks, but the Belles saw it out to claim an excellent point.
Belles: (4-4-2): Emily Batty, Zoe Belding, Georgia Marshall, Liv Cook, Lois Scholefield, Chloe Bethell, Sheldon Ashton, Hannah Shuttleworth (Nadia Khan 66), Kirsty Smith (Imani Todman 90+1), Abby Watkinson, Emily Burgin
Subs not used: Chloe Gray, Isabella Trevillion