Rovers and Durham rue late chances

First published in Sport

ENGLAND international Sue Smith admitted she was devastated after seeing her Doncaster Rovers Belles side falter in a goalless draw with Durham.

Doncaster missed a host of chances against struggling Durham.

In a frantic finale Doncaster’s Ashleigh Mills shook the bar with a stunning effort, while Jordan Atkinson and Zoe Ness flashed shots wide for Durham.

“We’re absolutely gutted,”

said Smith. “We’ve just had a conversation there, and emotions are always quite high after a game.

“We’ve all said our piece, now we need to reflect on our own performances, and go back to the drawing board.

“Obviously people know what we’re about now. They know we like to attack, so teams are starting to sit back and we’re finding it harder to break teams down.

“We’re making hard work of it at the top. Last week if we could have got a better result against Sunderland it would be very different indeed.

“A draw was okay, but we could’ve got three points.

We’ve dropped points against Millwall and Durham, so it’s still in Sunderland’s hands.

“Unless they slip up, we have to beat them away from home. ‘‘ Durham coach Andy Thorpe was left frustrated at the final whistle; despite struggling for much of the season, he felt they had missed the opportunity to claim a major scalp against Doncaster.

“As a team we worked really hard for 90 minutes,” he said.

“We worked individually and as a team. We set ourselves out with nothing to lose, they had more to lose, so we went out to give it our best shot.

“There are a couple of players who stood out, but against second in the league, it’s got to be a team effort. They all put a shift in for each other.

“At the end, my heart with in my mouth the whole time, they hit the bar and then we had two or three chances to finish it.

“It was probably a fair result.

Both teams played as well as each other.

“We’ve worked really hard in the last four to six weeks, stepping up the training and we’ve played the likes of Liverpool and Man City.

“If you look back at the City game, we’ve built from there and this proves that we have been building, to hopefully start winning.”

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