A stunning comeback, inspired by Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, gave the Belles their first Continental Tyres Cup win of the season at the Select Security Stadium against Everton.
Sweetman-Kirk came off the bench to bag a 16 minute hat trick as Glen Harris’ side came back from 2-0 down in dramatic style.
Emily Hollinshead and Ellie Stewart had given the hosts a 2-0 lead at the break against a changed Belles line up but Sweetman-Kirk’s introduction inspired the Belles to victory.
In a much changed line up, Glen Harris gave a full debut to young defender Samantha Tierney and Emily Simpkins. But the hosts were ahead on 5 minutes when Hollinshead struck from 12 yards after the Belles failed to clear a corner.
In a tight affair, Bethany England almost produced a moment of magic, picking the ball up on half way, charging towards goal and striking just wide from 30 yards. England again went close to a leveller on 20 minutes, latching on to Hope Knight’s pass to force Kirstie Levell into the save.
However it was the hosts who doubled their lead when Stewart headed home a cross from the right. Simone Magill went close to making it three as the Belles changes struggled to gel.
The Belles came out fighting at the start of the second half with Emily Roberts and Sue Smith both seeing efforts go begging. And the visitors were back in it when Everton failed to deal with Smith’s corner. Emily Simpkins’ header came back off the bar before the second ball was turned in by Sweetman-Kirk with her first touch.
The introduction of Leandra Little, Sweetman-Kirk and Jade Lorton-Rayburn sparked life into the Belles as they pressed for an equaliser.
However, the danger wasn’t over at the other end with Paige Williams forcing Nicola Hobbs into a smart save.
But Sweetman-Kirk levelled it when Smith beat Williams on the right and found the striker at the back post and she finished at the second attempt, looping a header over Levell.
With ten minutes to go, Magill fired an effort wide of Hobbs’ goal as the hosts took charge to try and force a winner.
However, Sweetman-Kirk had other ideas, latching on to a brilliant flick on from Smith to race clear and slot home away from a despairing Levell.
Everton Ladies FC Goal Scorers: Hollinshead 5′, Stewart 23′
Doncaster Rovers Belles Goal Scorers: Sweetman – Kirk 67′,74′,85′
Report courtesy of Doncaster Rovers Belles