Bottom-placed Doncaster Belles so close to reward at Bristol

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DONCASTER Belles remain bottom of the FA Women’s Super League table following their 3-2 defeat at Bristol Academy.

But it could have proved to be a case of third time lucky had skipper Katy Holtham converted a good chance to win the game in stoppage time with the score standing at 2-2 following Beth England’s late equaliser.

Beaten at home by Bristol at the start of the season, Belles had the better of the first half exchanges and in addition to having claims for a penalty rejected, Holtham had two efforts on goal blocked

Bristol, who had earlier hit the bar after Belles had gone close at the other end at the start of the second half, broke the deadlock on 54 minutes.

Belles drew level with a cracking 30-yarder by Kasia Lipka after 62 minutes.

Bristol rode their luck at times before regaining the lead on 77 minutes.

Substitute Beth England levelled the scores with an 89th minute equaliser after Belles had failed to convert several other chances. With the game looking to be heading for a draw following Holtham’s late miss, Bristol snatched victory from a 92nd minute free-kick.

“It was very disappointing to lose because we played well enough to win,” said Belles boss John Buckley.

“But we just didn’t defend the set piece properly. It’s not the first time and it’s something we need to work on. We played well enough to win and created more chances than we’ve been doing, which was encouraging. When you are down there you don’t seem to get the breaksbut overall it was an encouraging performance.

“We’ve just got to try and build on it when we go to Lincoln, which is going to be another tough match, next Wednesday.”