DONCASTER Rovers Belles picked up their first home win in the inaugural FA Women’s Super League against Liverpool at the Keepmoat Stadium last night.
Belles’ first win in three, which avenged a 3-0 WFA Cup quarter-final defeat prior to the start of the WSL, left the Reds still propping up the eight-team league.
Belles received a pre-match boost when former England midfielder Vicky Exley passed a late fitness test.
Belles’ boss John Buckley drafted defender Amy Turner into his starting line-up in a bid to ‘freshen’ things up after Sunday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat at Bristol Academy.
Exley shot high from an early 25 yard free-kick. Aine O’Gorman made a good run down the left for Belles but the move fizzled out in the Liverpool box.
The visitors went close to breaking the deadlock when Ruesha Littlejohn shot just wide of the right-hand post from 20 yards.
Belles took the lead on 35 minutes with an own goal.
Liverpool keeper Andrea Worrall let in a left-wing shot by O’Gorman - which she looked to have covered - at the near post.
O’Gorman continued to be Belles’ biggest attacking threat and won her side a corner. Precious Hamilton probably should have done better when shooting wide of the far post.
Worrall saved well from Exley’s long-range effort at the expense of a 54th minute corner.
Liverpool looked all set to draw level on 58 minutes when Turner handled. But keeper Helen Alderson dived to her right to block Littlejohn’s spot kick. The Reds’ striker got a second chance only to be denied by Kasia Lipka’s goal-line clearance.
Exley shot wide in a one-on-one in the 89th minute.
Worrall produced a superb one-handed save to deny Nicki Harding an stoppage-time equaliser.
BELLES: Alderson, Holtham, Turner, Karlsson, Hall, Exley O’Gorman, Hamilton, Lipka, Sjoman, Williams. Subs: Cunningham, Cox, Owen, Bright, Earps.