Doncaster Belles FC 2 – 3 Guiseley AFC Ladies
With a new management team and several additions to the playing squad Guiseley AFC Ladies travelled to Doncaster Belles FC for their first fixture of the season against a side who won the North East Regional League Cup last year and narrowly missed promotion to the North East Regional Premier League.
Guiseley started the game strongly in windy conditions and dominated possession in midfield, whilst the Guiseley defence ensured that sporadic attacks by Belles did not trouble Guiseley goalkeeper Erin Boswell unduly.
Belles maintained a high defensive line but Guiseley’s patience was rewarded midway through the first half when Charlotte Proud burst through and scored with a clinical finish.
From the start of the second half Belles pushed forward and equalised when the Guiseley midfield and defence was unable to prevent a strong run and finish.
The fact that Belles were pushing forward meant that there was plenty of space available for Guiseley who took advantage by creating several chances for both Amy Parker and Charlotte Proud but a combination of good goalkeeping and wayward finishing left the scores equal until Charlotte Proud scored again to retake the lead for Guiseley.
Again Belles responded strongly and a wind-assisted shot from distance gave Erin Boswell no chance and levelled the score.
The winning goal went to Guiseley as Charlotte Proud completed her hat-trick and Guiseley were able to control the rest of the game with no further alarms.
Overall this was a good performance by a new squad and many positives were taken from the game.
Special mention must be made of Hannah Burnham and Bethan Smith who played their first game at Open Age level and both did extremely well.