Gordon Staniforth hailed Nicola Hobbs following the goalkeeper’s outstanding performance against Liverpool.
The Belles may have suffered a 3-2 defeat to the league champions in this year’s Continental Cup, however, Doncaster boss Staniforth could not hide his praise for his number one shot-stopper.
Hear Staniforth’s thoughts via the video above (video courtesy of Belles TV).
Doncaster Rovers Belles saw their slim hopes of reaching the FA WSL Continental Cup semi-finals end after a 3-2 defeat away to Liverpool in their final Group B stage fixture last Saturday, writes Julian Barker.
Liverpool, the reigning WSL champions, gave a true champions-style first half display to fully deserve a 3-0 interval lead.
Virtually all the first five minutes were played in the Belles half during which Liverpool went close on three occasions.
The first time Belles got forward, Victoria Williams fired just over.
Liverpool’s opener in the 8th minute from Natasha Dowie was hardly a surprise as she slipped the ball past Hobbs following a pass from Katie Zelem.
Amanda Da Costa had a fairly straight-forward tap in after Hobbs was unable to keep out Gemma Davision’s shot on 15 minutes.
Dowie took full advantage of a stray pass to enjoy a clear run at goal and duly made it 3-0 a few minutes before the interval.
Hobbs in goal was player of the match by a long way with a string of fine saves which ultimately almost earned a reward as Belles fought back in the second half and narrowly fell short of gaining a point.
Beth England reduced the arrears just before the hour, meeting Rhiannon Roberts’ right-sided free kick at the far post to send a firm header inside Libby Stout’s left hand post.
With ten minutes to go, Jess Sigsworth headed in at the far post from a cross pumped in by Lyndsey Cunningham following a short free kick and the possibility of an unlikely point (at half time) was now very much on the cards.
Sadly for Belles they were unable to gain any further reward.