Doncaster Rovers Belles boss Emma Coates says Sunday’s hard earned win at Sheffield FC Ladies has provided an excellent platform to build on.
Belles booked their place in the last 16 of the SSE FA Women’s Cup with a 1-0 victory at the Home of Football courtesy of a controversial Courtney Sweetman-Kirk penalty.
The fourth round tie was Doncaster’s first competitive fixture of 2017 after they received a walkover against Watford in the previous round and then saw their Spring Series opener at Sheffield postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
And Coates was pleased with how her side dug in against their local rivals.
“I was really pleased with the first half performance,” she said after the match.
“I thought we held strong and we looked comfortable and we sustained a lot of pressure towards the end.
“I think we had a level of maturity and emotional control. That’s something we’ve worked really hard with the girls on and today it showed. We kept calm and came away with the win.
“It was always going to be a tough game - especially with it being a derby game and an FA Cup game - so overall I was really pleased. It was even more pleasing as it was our first competitive game.
“At the end we looked like we tired a little bit but we ground it out and it’s a great platform to build on.”
Belles have been drawn away to Chelsea in the fifth round. The two sides met at the same stage of the competition last season, with Chelsea running out 4-1 winners at the Keepmoat Stadium. The tie is scheduled for Sunday, March 19.
Belles’ Spring Series game at Brighton on March 5 has been postponed due to international call-ups.