DONCASTER Rovers Belles hit the road again tonight in the FA Women’s Super League with a visit to fancied Everton.
Belles’ boss John Buckley admits it will be a testing game for his new-look side.
“I don’t think anyone expects us to win at Everton,” he told The Star. “They will be one of the big hitters in the new league along with Arsenal and Birmingham.”
But Belles will go into tonight’s game with their confidence boosted by the 1-0 win at big-spending Lincoln City at Sincil Bank in their first game in the new eight-team league last Wednesday.
Long-serving midfielder Vicky Exley scored the only goal of the game in the first half.
“We were different class in the first half and could have gone in 3-0 up,” said the former Doncaster and Rotherham winger.
“Precious Hamilton did brilliant up front. She could have scored a hat-trick.
“We had expected a tough match because of the quality of the players they have signed, and it was. They had a lot of possession in the second half and they had two or three chances, but the girls worked really hard in defence and often put their bodies on the line.”
Buckley felt that tactically he got it right against the Imps - a side he knew liked to get the ball down and pass it around.
But says he may be forced to adopt a different game-plan tonight due to Everton’s physical presence in midfield.
“They’ve got two girls in the middle of the park who are over six foot so if we play like we did at Lincoln the second balls are going to be behind us,” said Buckley.
“But if we give them space to play the ball out of defence then they are going to cause us problems because they are all internationals, so we’ll have to come up with something.”
Everton were held to a 3-3 draw Liverpool in their opening game.