Doncaster Rovers Belles give champs best home test

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DONCASTER Rovers Belles produced one of their best performances of the season in their penultimate FA Women’s Premier League (WSL) when holding Arsenal Ladies to a 3-2 victory margin in their penultimate game of the season at Boreham Wood.

The Gunners went into the game needing a point to pip Birmingham City Ladies for the title but the Blues failure win their last game of the season. which finished during their game against Belles, meant that they would have been crowned champions irrespective of their result against Belles.

The Belles players showed their respects to the Gunners by clapping them off after they had been presented with the league title but it was a different story during the match.

Gunners boss Vic Akers told his Belles’ counterpart John Buckley that the visitors had given his side their most competitive home game of the season. “That was good to hear and it was b a lot better than the performance against Birmingham the week before,” Buckley told The Star.

Buckley, who switched to a diamond formation, dropped skipper Katy Holtham and made several other changes with Beth England starting in attack after doing well coming off the bench against the Blues.

The Gunners took the lead when Belles skipper Leandra Little put the ball into her own net. Aine O’Gorman, who had one of her best games of the season, put Belles back level with a 30 yard strike.

Tanya Oxtoby headed Aresenal 2-1 up and England star Kelly Smith made it 3-1 midway through the second half but Belles hit back when the Arsenal keeper failed to hold O’Gorman’s shot from the edge of the area and Litttle was on hand to net.

Belles, well served by Vicky Williams, had several chances to claim a draw in the closing stages.