DESPITE an outstanding defensive display by skipper Katie Holtham, Doncaster Rovers Belles slumped to a 3-0 defeat against Lincoln Ladies in their penultimate WSL game of the season last Thursday.
Defeat left Belles lying seventh in the eight-strong league with just one league remaining against title-chasing Birmingham at the Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday (2pm).
Birmingham, who are battling it out with Arsenal for the inaugural WSL title, beat Belles 3-0 at home in the first game last month following the resumption of the action following a ten-week break for the World Cup.
“They will be up for the game because of what is at stake - though Arsenal would have to fail to beat bottom club Liverpool for Birmingham to win the title even if they beat us,” said Holtham.
“We’ve just got to play for our pride and try and finish our league campaign on a winning note. That won’t be easy as Belles haven’t won for eight games and their record in the second half of the campaign has been poor.
“We had a relatively successful first half of the season,” said the former Leeds favourite. We beat Lincoln away in our first game and we also drew at Everton in our second game.
“But the second half of the season has been a tough test for us; we don’t have anyone who clinical enough in and around the box to convert the chances we create on a regular basis.
“We had been looking to complete our first double against Lincoln and I thought that we dominated the first 20 minutes and we had two or three chances to lead before they scored.
“Their first goal was a great finish from just outside the box but we shouldn’t have allowed here so much time on the ball.
“I think at the minute we are lacking a bit of belief in ourselves and we need to take more responsibility.
“But we want to put on a good show Sunday because we might be playing them at home again in the Cup next weekend if they finish second and we finish seventh.”
One player who will need no introduction to home fans is former Belles’ midfielder Rachel Williams who bagged a brace in last month’s game between the two sides.
Initially signed as a central midfielder, Holtham is now an established fixture at centre-back.
She joined the club from Leeds who failed to make the new league.