Louise Griffiths in action in Sunderland’s previous game against Liverpool

Doncaster managed to put an end to Sunderland’s unbeaten start to the league season, despite huge pressure from The Young Lady Black Cats.

Nadia Khan had a slice of good fortune for her 26th minute goal, something Doncaster managed to hold on to for the remaining 64 minutes to see Sunderland slide to a second defeat in a row after a cup loss against Liverpool.

Rachel Pitman made her first start as she continues her return to fitness.

Sunderland had chances early on. Georgia Gibson had a shot saved with eight minutes played after taking over possession from Faye Mullen.

Gibson then turned provider five minutes later, as her free kick was almost met by Katie Barker, who couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch.

Doncaster managed to break the pattern of play 25 minutes in and create a chance of their own. Eleanor Ciesielski hit a powerful effort from close range, however strong hands from Claudia Moan kept the strike out.

Against the run of play, Doncaster took the lead a minute later. Moan did well to beat Belles striker Khan to the ball, however was unlucky to see it deflect back off Khan’s shin and into the empty net.

Sunderland had three chances in as many minutes following the goal. Emily Batty was forced into action in the Doncaster goal, first saving from Pitman and then from Louise Griffiths.

However the best chance of the spell fell to Gibson, but the skipper under hit a shot after a Katie Barker pull back.

Doncaster relieved some pressure with an rare attack. Monique Watson hit a great dipping volley, but a quality save from Moan saw the ball turned onto the bar and clear of danger.

With five minutes of the half left, great work from Pitman saw her in win possession before playing back to Erika Warren. Warren played in captain Gibson, who hit a shot just wide of the left hand post.

With the final move of the half, Emily Hutchinson directed the ball just wide of the target after Pitman found her with a great cross from the right.

Doncaster almost caught Sunderland on the counter 53 minutes in. Watson almost got on the end of a clearance but Moan, once again, got to the ball first and cleared the danger

Griffiths tried her luck from range with 59 minutes played, striking goal wards from an Anna Young lay off but Batty was equal to it.

Belles tried to break out once again. Khan broke into the box but a great sliding challenge from Olivia Watt halted the attack.

Sunderland should have equalised 68 minutes in. The ball broke for Young after Griffiths hit a pass forward, however she was closed down by the ‘keeper after taking a second touch and the shot was saved.

With 20 minutes to go, Beth Guy hit the target from distance. After a Hutchinson free kick was headed away, Guy hit a first time effort, dipping towards the goal but Batty made the save.

With five minutes to go, Young battled well to retain possession before teeing up Gibson. The skippers’ curling effort was goal bound but once again kept out by Batty.

Doncaster held onto three points, moving them level on points with Sunderland in the top three of the league. The Young Lady Black Cats will look to get back on track with a trip to Birmingham next week.

Donny Belles: Batty, Bradley-Auckland, Cook, Belding, Thompson-Moulding, Ciesielski, Smith, Khan, Watson, Auker

Subs (all used): Whittle, Edwards, Ringrose

SAFC: Moan, Pitman (Guy 46’), Warren, Watt, Packham, Hutchinson, Griffiths, Mullen, Gibson ©, Barker, Young

Subs Not Used: Stonehouse, Woolston