Doncaster Belles’ under-18s have climbed to the top of the table with a second half comeback over Barnsley Ladies Blues, writes Chris Wright.
Meetings between the Belles and the Blues side have always been close-fought affairs and this weekend’s meeting of the sides continued the traditional rivalry between the sides.
Barnsley didn’t give the Belles time to settle as the Doncaster side’s usual calm play on the ball was missing in a game played at a frenetic pace with both sides enjoying their share of possession, chances and profligacy.
Injuries played a large part in this physical encounter with Belles striker Lori Hudson having to be withdrawn before the break with a leg injury.
Further second half ankle injuries to twins Danni and Sophie Thompson as well as a hand injury to keeper Leanne Swift also added to the body count.
With the sides goalless at the break, Barnsley enjoyed some good fortune in the 60th minute to go 1-0 with a superb shot that Shona Wright could only get fingertips to.
The Belles replied 15 minutes later with two goals in the space of three minutes from Holly Housley and Amy Booth to give the Belles the edge.
The result takes the Belles to top spot in the under-18s Division One just as the first and second divisions are set to merge following the withdrawal of some Sheffield-based sides.