Doncaster Rovers Belles were pipped 3-2 at last season’s beaten finalists Birmingham City in a FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup group match yesterday.
Striker Christie Murray gave Belles a 36th minute lead but Freda Ayisi equalised in the third minute of first-half stoppage time.
Charlie Wellings put the home side in front 13 minutes into the second half, before sub Rachel Williams headed a third in the 75th minute.
But after winger Kirsty Hanson pulled goal back a minute later, the Blues had to scrap for their victory.
The result meant a losing start to interim head coach Kate Rowson’s spell in charge of the Belles.
The former Watford coachtook over after the departure of Emma Coates to the FA’s England set-up.
Doncaster skipper Leandra Little said: “We feel really frustrated after giving a good account of ourselves but getting nothing out of the game.
“After starting well and taking the lead with a good goal by Christie, it was disappointing to concede a goal in first-half stoppage time.
“Lapses of concentration cost us another couple of goals, but we got back into the game and might have got an equaliser.
“We didn’t have enough spells of good quality in a pretty scrappy game. There are positives to take from the game, but lots of things to work on as well.”
* Belles: Draycott; Newborough (Rayner 71), Roberts, Little, Pacheco; Peplow (Cook 85), Barker, Tierney, Simpkins (Watkins 80), Hanson; Christie Murray.
Substitutes not used: Sophie Walton, Jessica Sigsworth.
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