Doncaster Rovers Belles finish seventh after final day defeat to Barnsley Women

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Doncaster Rovers Belles concluded their FAWNL Division One North season with a 3-2 defeat at Barnsley Women.

The hosts were 3-0 up inside the first half hour, a score which remained unchanged until midway through the second half.

Jasmine Saxton, Belles’ leading scorer for the season, reduced the arrears and a goal by Arianne Parnham just before the end gave Belles hope of salvaging a point.

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It was a much improved second half display by Belles but the game and its two distinctly different halves was a reflection of Belles’ season where they finished seventh in the final table.

Jasmine SaxtonJasmine Saxton
Jasmine Saxton

Having lost all three at home before Ciaran Toner was appointed manager, they garnered 20 points from the remaining eight games at home.

However, it is on their travels that Belles will have to show a marked improvement if they are to get promotion to the third tier.

Eleven points from 11 away games was a tally bettered by each of the half dozen teams who finished in the top half of the table.

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Winning Division One North is arguably a tougher ask than finishing as Division One Midlands champions. Belles were runners up in the Midlands in both 2022 and 2023 before geographical factors saw them switch regional divisions last summer.

AFC Fylde and Huddersfield Town have been relegated from the Northern Premier Division, while Chester-le-Street Town and FC United of Manchester are the two teams dropping out of Division One North.

Moving up from the regional tier 5 divisions are Cheadle Town (North West champions) and the North East champions who will be either Barnsley FC Women (affiliated to Oakwell based Barnsley FC) or a Tyneside area team.

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