By Kate Mason
Arsenal Ladies carried on their good Women’s Super League form with a 3-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles at Meadow Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Ladies will have been happy with the three points, though they at times lacked the spark they showed when they beat the Belles 6-0 just under two weeks ago.
Shelley Kerr made two changes to the team that faced Chelsea on Thursday. Ciara Grant started in place of Gilly Flaherty, who scored the first goal in the last fixture between the sides, and Gemma Davison replaced Rachel Yankey.
Since the two teams last met, the Belles had won their first game of the season - 1-0 at home to Lincoln on Thursday night. It was clear that the team had gained confidence from the victory.
For the first half hour, the Gunners occasionally threatened but could not find a breakthrough. Good defensive play by a combination of Alex Scott and Steph Houghton made it difficult for the visitors to make an impact.
Two key chances for the Ladies either side of the half hour mark were defended well by Donny. The first saw Lyndsey Cunningham’s superb tackle deprive Jordan Nobbs of an opportunity barely five yards from the goal line.
Millie Bright nearly converted for Doncaster too, but her shot glanced off the woodwork.
Then, after 35 minutes, Arsenal’s increasing pressure proved too much for the visiting team when Houghton set up Danielle Carter to slot home from close range.
With the interval edging closer, Doncaster found better form. A Sue Smith free kick was nearly muscled in by Leandra Little but Emma Byrne held well on the line to take the lead into half-time.
A minute into the second half, Sue Smith showed her quality to give the visitors an equaliser. Houghton lost the ball and Smith seized on the opportunity to curl a brilliant strike over the fingertips of Byrne into the top-left corner.
But Doncaster’s time on equal footing didn’t last long. A clear foul five minutes later gave the hosts a penalty, which Kim Little put comfortably away.
Nobbs made the points safe with 20 minutes to go when her neat shot beat Nicola Davies after Ellen White had created the chance.
The Ladies have now won eight league games in a row and welcome Lincoln to Meadow Park on Thursday evening.
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