Match Report: Bradford City 1-3 Doncaster Belles

Well it is good to be back and finally writing my first match report in far too long. We are finally allowed back into stadiums so we headed off to the Bradford 

City Women vs Doncaster Belles friendly at the Mitton Group Stadium and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It seems like the off season and some work on the pitch have really improved it’s condition since the end of the last season when games were constantly being postponed due to the weather and pitch conditions. It was nice to see plenty of fans in the ground too with Doncaster bringing plenty of fans with them. 

Doncaster were the first out of the block’s from kick off however Richard’s was on hand to deny them taking the lead. Doncaster did take the lead in the 7th minute though with a nicely worked goal. It didn’t take much longer for them to double their lead either as by the 12th minute they were 2-0 up after what looked like a scrappy corner was turned home. 

City came close to pulling a goal back in the 39th minute but unfortunately Harriet Jakeman’s shot was saved brilliantly by the Belle’s ‘keeper. City did manage to pull a goal back to go into half time at 2-1 to Doncaster. City’s goal didn’t disappoint either as it was a fantastic strike from Keegan Lambert which found it’s way through the Belle’s ‘keepers legs and into the back of the next. It was certainly a strong 1st half from both sides with the Belle’s coming out on top. 

In the 2nd half there wasn’t too much action to report on with both sides battling it out in the midfield trying to get another goal on the board. Unfortunately for Bradford it was Doncaster that found a breakthrough and got their 3rd after a fantastic free kick curled it’s way into the back of the goal. 

The game finished with the Belle’s winning 3-1 but there were definitely some positives from the game for Bradford to take away. City certainly seemed a lot stronger and a lot more physical than last season so it just goes to show how much work they have put in during the off season, they were winning more battles for the ball due to this which will definitely help them during the new season. 

City were also moving the ball around much better and getting into some good positions thanks to this however, there will still a few wayward passes in the mix that lost them possession there was a lot less than previous games. City still seemed to struggle in the final 3rd again with players often having a lack of support after a break and having to go backwards or give the ball away. If they had a little support then they will certainly have had a lot more chances and possibly a few more goals. 

Doncaster did really well pressing and putting pressure on City which gave them some great opportunities and they played extremely well for the full 90 minutes, I think if they play like this for the full season they could end up doing really well. They were getting in around the back of the City defence a little too easily which put them in some great positions however, City ‘keeper Richard’s made some fantastic saves to keep City in it. City did also make some good interceptions throughout the game to deny some Doncaster chance and also create their own however, not much seemed to come from this due to the lack of support in the final 3rd. 

There has definitely been some great improvement from Bradford during the off season and they did look a lot better than the end of last season and a lot stronger. I really think if they play like this against teams in their own league they are really going to be able to hold their own and do well in the league.

Roll on the 20th September for the start of the FAWNL.