Doncaster Rovers Belles v Durham: Title-chasing Belles set for tough double-header

Doncaster Rovers Belles face the biggest test of their unbeaten FAWSL2 record this week when they face Durham Women and Brighton & Hove Albion in the space of four days.

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 6:00 am
Jess Sigsworth: FAWSL2 Player of the Month for March

Neil Redfearn’s side currently sit six points clear at the top of the table.

Fourth-placed Durham head to the Keepmoat Stadium tonight on the back of a 3-1 win at London Bees and have caused the Belles problems in previous meetings.

They have only picked up back-to-back wins once in the league all season but are growing into a formidable side at this level and will head to Doncaster in confident mood.

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Belles boss Redfearn said: “We’re expecting something similar from Durham to what they gave us last time (when Belles won 2-1).

“They’ve got a lot of good players, players that I really like, like the centre forward, Zoe Ness, and Beth Hepple, who’s another one with lots of ability who can be a danger and score goals from midfield.

“We know they’re good defensively: they’re stout, they play as a team, they’re well organised.

“Obviously they were on a plastic pitch when we played them and this game will be on grass and on a big pitch at the Keepmoat, so it will be interesting to see how they cope. But either way I’m sure it’ll be a good game of football.”

On Sunday the Belles visit FAWSL1 bound Brighton who will be heading to the top tier no matter what next season and will provide stiff opposition to Redfearn’s side.

After a slow start to their first season in the WSL, Brighton, managed by former England boss Hope Powell, have been in fine form of late with five wins out of six in 2018.

Their only blip, however, was the 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Belles back in January but with striker Ini Umotong and former Notts County winger Aileen Whelan finding form they will offer possibly the toughest test yet to the Belles’ run for the title.

n Belles’ Jess Sigsworth won the FAWSL2 Player of the Month award for March.

Sigsworth, the division’s top scorer, found the net in the wins over Watford and Tottenham Hotspur.