Manager Andy Butler reflects on defeat to Durham Cestria in Belles third pre-season friendly of 2021.
The Belles got off to the perfect start taking an early 2-0 lead with goals from Jasmine Saxton and Sophie Scargill but found their lead halved just before half time. The second 45 saw them concede four including two penalties before Lauren Breen got on the scoresheet in the final minutes to make if 5-3.
“First half I thought we were very good for about 30 minutes with some very good football being played but once they got the goal back it rocked us a little bit and it took us a while to get back into our stride,” said Butler.
“I made a lot changes in the second half which disrupted the shape a little bit, but friendlies are for getting minutes into players legs.
“There second half became a bit of a non-entity but there were still some positives in the way we switched play and played out from the back and looked to threaten in behind. “
The previous week – after a 2-1 win over Chorley Women – Butler had highlighted the number of opportunities his side had wasted and one positive from Sunday’s match was the clinical finishing creating far fewer chances but scoring more goals.
“Last week, we created a lot of chances but only scored two goals but this time we didn’t create a lot of chances, but we scored three goals – I just felt like we lacked the impetus to go forward in the second half,” he added.
“We’ve got two weeks before the start of the season, Sheffield FC on the Thursday and then Leeds United so we’ll have to be right at it.
“There’s plenty to build on especially from the first 30 minutes where I thought we excellent.”
Belles continue putting together the pieces of the puzzle on Thursday evening when they travel to Sheffield FC. Kick-off 7.30pm.