DONCASTER Rovers Belles failed their big screen test, going down to a 1-0 WSL defeat against Everton Ladies in front of the ESPN cameras at the Keepmoat Stadium.
It was Belles’ second successive blank sheet and their lack of a cutting edge in the final third contributed to their third defeat in their last four games in front of a crowd of 866.
The visitors dominated early on and knocked the ball about well. Natasha Dowie, the daughter of football manager Iain Dowie, shot wide when well placed on nine minutes.
Striker Precious Hamilton got a header on target in the 12th minute as the Belles started to warm to their task, but keeper Danielle Hill had it covered.
There was a let-off for Belles two minutes later when highly-rated midfielder Jill Scott shot over from eight yards after being set-up by Dowie.
Everton took the lead with a 20 yard shot by Toni Duggan, which may have taken a deflection, on 28 minutes.
And they had strong claims for a penalty turned down after Amy Turner, who caught the eye in the Belles back-four, denied Dowie a shooting chance in the box.
Belles’ former England star Vicky Exley shot high and wide with a 25 yarder just before half-time. Hill dealt confidently with a Rebecca Hall shot on the hour, as did Helen Alderson when Scott got a 20 yarder on target.
Duggan had a shot cleared off the line on 68 minutes with Alderson saving from Dowie after she had latched onto the loose ball. Scott got a 30 yard effort saved on 75 minutes by Alderson. Belles pressured in search of a late equaliser.
Belles: Alderson, Holtham, Turner, Karlsson, Hall (Bright 78) Exley (Prosser 68) O’Gorman, Hamilton, Lipka, Sjoman, Williams. Unused subs: Earps, Cunningham, Cox.