Sunderland did not end their Continental Tyres Cup programme as they would have liked.
A home defeat to a WSL2 side might not have been in the script either and any Man City spies in the crowd at Eppleton CW yesterday may not be exactly quaking in their boots.
The priority for us is the league match at Man City.
But, following the below-par display in mid-week at Liverpool, Sunderland were much more like their old selves.
Goal attempts were well into double figures and while only two found the back of the Doncaster net, midfielder Sarah McFadden says the Lady Black Cats can take encouragement from the display.
“It was a disappointing, we wanted to try to get out of the group,” said the Northern Ireland star.
“But we knew Donny were going to be a hard team to play against, they are a really good footballing side.
“Once they got the first goal it built their confidence and it made it harder for us to try to get one of the best third-places.
“We had a lot of chances which is promising because we didn’t create much against Liverpool in midweek.
“It was a better performance to build on going into our last three WSL1 games.
“Even though we lost at least we are making chances again.
“The priority for us is the league match at Man City, hopefully we will train well and do better on Sunday.”
McFadden, given her vast experience, will be a key player in the run-in which sees Sunderland take on all three of their title rivals – Man City (a), Arsenal (h) and Chelsea (a).
Her threat in the air could also prove invaluable as she proved yesterday, heading in from Vicki Greenwell’s injury-time ball.
“Every time VG got it, I thought ‘I’ll get in the box and she’ll put it on my head if she gets the chance’,” said the 28-year-old.
“I was happy with the goal, but it’s a pity we couldn’t get the win.”