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Toner delighted with 'deserved' derby win over Barnsley

4 March 2024


Toner delighted with 'deserved' derby win over Barnsley

4 March 2024

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Ciaran Toner felt the Belles were fully deserving of their win over promotion-chasing Barnsley as they stood up to the challenge of their South Yorkshire rivals.

The Belles defended superbly throughout, particularly during a first half in which they found themselves under pressure.

And Arianne Parnham’s header early in the second half set them on their way to an impressive victory over their high-flying neighbours.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” manager Toner said. “Barnsley have been doing very well in the league. We knew we had a real challenge and I said in the week that I thought Barnsley would come here expecting to win.

“I think we weathered a bit of a storm early on and when we got to grips with how we needed to structure ourselves, certainly out of possession, we caused them some problems and frustrated them.

“It was great to get the win and the girls deserved it.”

Toner was particularly pleased with the defensive performance of his side and has called upon them to replicate the basics of it in future matches.

“I think we dug in at times and I think some of our defending was great, particularly with how we positioned ourselves in certain areas when they got the ball wide,” he said.

“I thought we got a lot of first contacts in the box and those are the fundamentals that we need to do every week to be able to take the pressure off Ellie [Sharpe] a little bit and help us get those clean sheets.

“If we continue to have that attitude, we’ll get more clean sheets than we won’t. It’s a well done to them for putting their bodies on the line and recognising how to make those first contacts and that is something I want to us to be a regular occurrence for us.”

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