'Mixed Emotions' For Spence

Ladies manager Andy Spence was left with mixed emotions after watching his side rescue a point against Doncaster Rovers Belles.

A topsy-turvy encounter at the Keepmoat Stadium ended 3-3, with a late, late wonder strike from Olivia Chance earning a share of the spoils, even though the Blue Girls had lead 2-0 after just 20 minutes.

Simone Magill and Claudia Walker had fired the hosts into an early lead, but Belles striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk netted a brace before Leandra Little powered home a header to put her side in front.

Spence recognised there is still work to be done for his side but was satisfied with certain aspects of the performance. 

“The first 30 minutes were outstanding, even better than Aston Villa last week,” he said. “We had good control of the game in possession and were doing well when we didn’t have the ball. It was a case of how many we could score.

“But we started to wobble a little bit as we got closer to half time. Doncaster were putting a little bit more pressure on us. 

“It’s a shame really because for all three goals I know we could have prevented all of them. We have caused all three in different ways. It’s not always the final action that leads to a goal. Doncaster’s first is a case of not pressing the ball early on in the move, then it has hit both posts and they have reacted quicker. 

“The goal straight after half time is disappointing after we have done well to get a lead. From there, it has become end-to-end and the quality has dropped a little bit for both teams. 

“Unfortunately we have conceded a third, although everyone in women’s football knows that if you give Leandra a good ball in the box there is usually one winner.  So there is no blame attached to the actual strike but we have caused the corner with a bit of poor play. 

“To go and get a fantastic goal from Olivia is fantastic, and great for her. At 3-3 we have then had a couple of little half chances to maybe win it. 

“So overall, I have mixed emotions. There were a lot of good things to take away, like the character we showed to come back after they turned it around to lead. Teams can fold in that situation but we showed plenty of heart. 

“We are only going to get better and that’s exciting. This team is going in the right direction.”

Spence also hailed late hero Chance, who stepped off the bench to fire home a stunning 25 yard equaliser to earn a point.

The New Zealander has had to settle for cameos off the bench so far into her Everton career, but Spence was delighted with her impact,  and said it was reward for her hard work on the training pitch.

“I’ve spoken previously about the impact of substitutes and the girls have been great coming off the bench of late. They have been positive and shown that they want to come on and show that they should be in the starting line-up. 

“Liv has scored a great goal. Its fantastic technique but we know she has got that. We have been waiting to see it but we knew it would take a little time for her to transition into the English game. Week by week she is doing that in training. 

“I’m delighted for her because she is someone who works diligently behind the scenes.”

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