The Lionesses had to show fight and determination against Doncaster Belles after going 2 goals behind to draw the game 2-2. An inspired Millwall performance which had to be at the top of their game to beat one of the best sides in the league Doncaster Belles.
After both winning last week confidence would have been high in both camps ahead of kick off. It was a top of the table clash despite one game only being played...
Both teams had chances in the first 10 minutes of the game and the first came to the hosts when a free kick was whipped in from 35 yards but Sarah Quantrill was able to hold and keep hold of the ball. The lionesses then had a chance of there own not long later when they had one of their own free kick opportunities which Ashlee Hincks stepped up from 30 yards only to shatter the bar. Hincks then nearly scored again but for some good keeping her shot was saved and Charlie Devlin was unable to score from the follow up.
The deadlock was then broken on the 12th minute when the ball was whipped in from the far right where Sarah Quantrill was able to punch the ball away only for it to hit the Lionesses defender before the ball rolled into the back of the net.
The damage then got worse on the half an hour mark when Doncaster Belles doubled their lead after a free kick from the far right which allowed Rhiannon Roberts to smash home the volley and give the Belles a comfortable lead.
However the Lionesses refused to lie down and Charlie Devlin cut the lead in half when a long ball was then knocked down in her stride where the midfielders initial shot seemed destined for the far bottom left-hand corner in which the goalkeeper seemed to be getting down low to save however a cruel deflection from the Donny defender saw the ball go into the opposite corner and give the Lionesses a spark going into half time.
The Lionesses needed to start the second half much better than they did the second and they started brightly when Ella Rutherford saw her shot from 12 yards go over the bar. The Lionesses were increasing the intensity and playing much better football. The Lionesses were eyeing down their prey and were hungry for the equaliser...UP STEP Ashlee Hincks the experienced center forward took center stage when a long ball from the back made its way to the striker who was clever enough to get in between the 2 Donny defenders and chip the on coming keeper with just minutes remaining.
The Lionesses had earned a point from a Doncaster side who had seemed to have taken all 3. Despite having to nick it late the lionesses weren't lucky to draw and if anything proved that they mean business this year and any team that come up to face the lionesses are going to have to show mental and physical strength if they are even going to be able to compete against us.
I managed to get a few words off of the assistant manager Lauren Phillips who said "Going away to Doncaster is always a tough test. A team that is well organised and difficult to beat both home and away. We started quite brightly, creating 2-3 good opportunities that we should of done better with. Then from that we conceded 2 goals, the first we were unlucky with the initial save rebounding onto one of our defenders and into the net. Then the second from a set piece that we should of done better with the marking to prevent it. However we scored at the right time just before the half and then went onto peform better in the second half after making some tactical changes which we feel paid off and all 3 contributed to the game positively. On a whole there were positives in that we were able to gain a point away from home and come from behind to get a well deserved point against difficult opposition."
Millwall Lionesses team:
Quantrill, Robe, Brooks, Alexander, Wynne, Nicol (Dean 45), Mason, Devlin (Horwood 89), Rutherford, Hincks, Cowan (Gaylor 68)
Subs not used: Taylor, Butler
Doncaster Belles team:
Draycott, Pacheco, Roberts, Little, Barker, Walton, Peplow, Murray, Hanson (Tierney 90), Rayner (Simpkins 72), Sigsworth
Subs not used: Newborough