Doncaster Rovers Belles 1-1 Chelsea
The FA WSL Continental Cup
Sunday 28 April 2013
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes felt complacency crept into her team’s performance after Olina Vidarsdottir rescued a point for the Blues in the FA WSL Continental Cup tie with Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Icelandic full-back Vidarsdottir hooked in on the stroke of half-time to salvage a draw after the Belles defence failed to clear Edda Gardarsdottir’s corner.
Doncaster had the better of the game and led from the fourth minute thanks to an emphatic finish from teenage forward Jess Sigsworth.
The result leaves both sides level on points with Liverpool and Everton in Group Two.
Hayes said: “If we’d been here for another 200 minutes, we wouldn’t have scored another goal.
“Not to take anything away from Doncaster. We’ve got that little bit more quality but you’ve got to earn the right to play and we didn’t do that today so I’m a bit disappointed.
“We underestimated Doncaster and I do think there was a bit of complacency.”
Chelsea returned to the Keepmoat Stadium just eight days after thrashing the Belles 4-0 in a League encounter between the two sides.
However it was the home team that started brighter and opened the scoring early on. Mille Bright’s lofted through ball found Sigsworth and the pacy striker held off two defenders to lift the ball over visiting goalkeeper Shannon Lynn before smashing right-footed into the empty net.
Bright came close to doubling the home side’s lead 20 minutes in but her powerful drive from the right-hand side of the area fizzed the wrong side of the upright.
Chelsea, who came into the game as FAWSL leaders, struggled to get into their stride in the opening 45 minutes and it was the energetic hosts who again went close just before the half-hour mark.
Sigsworth wriggled clear of visiting centre-back pairing Kylie Davies and Sophie Ingle, only to see her well-struck effort clip the top of the crossbar and go over.
Donny were made to pay for their missed chances in the 45th minute when Vidarsdottir levelled with her side’s first meaningful attempt on goal. Captain Gardarsdottir curled in a corner from the right for her Icelandic compatriot to find the top right-hand corner for her first Chelsea goal.
The two sides cancelled each other out in a hard-fought second period but the visitors almost nicked the win three minutes from the end when Belles midfielder Kasia Lipka came close to putting through her own goal from Gardarsdottir’s right-wing corner.
Doncaster manager John Buckley heaped praise on his side after the match.
He said: “I thought we were the best team.
“It’s interesting. Some people have said to me: ‘it’s an improvement to last week’. Even though we got beaten 4-0, I thought Chelsea only edged the game but today I thought, from the outset, we were the best team.
“It was disappointing to lose a goal on the 45-minute mark but all the way through the team we were just dynamite – the only thing is; we did want three points.”
Doncaster Rovers Belles
Hobbs, Mills, Little (C), Cunningham, Purfield (Williams 70), England (Sowerby 86), Lipka, Thomson, Chadwick (Foster 66), Sigsworth, Bright
Substitutes not used Higgins, Emery.
Lynn; Susi, Davies, Ingle, Vidarsdottir, Gardarsdottir (C), Dos Santos (Buet 63), Bleazard (Ward 63), Coombs, Jakobsson, Aluko (Longhurst 75).
Substitutes not used Myers, Cole, Spence, Holtham.