Doncaster Rovers Belles take heart from cup displays

Doncaster Rovers Belles. Photo: Julian BarkerDoncaster Rovers Belles. Photo: Julian Barker
Doncaster Rovers Belles. Photo: Julian Barker
Doncaster Rovers Belles can take great encouragement from their displays, both collectively and individually, against Nottingham Forest and then Stoke City in knock out competitions despite losing both games.

Both of the Midlands clubs play in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division which is a tier above Belles who are aspiring to play at that level next season.

Belles were beaten just 1-0 by Forest in their FAWNL Plate tie at Rossington which was the first time they have failed to score this season.

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Last Sunday’s visit to Stoke for a Vitality Women’s FA Cup first round proper tie ended 5-3 in favour of City.

Belles went ahead through Jasmine Saxton but trailed 2-1 at the interval and that became 3-1 early in the second half.

Phoebe Sneddon pulled one back with a fine goal only for City to restore their two-goal advantage.

Hannah McWilliams scored to halve the deficit again but it was Stoke who netted the game’s final goal to progress as 5-3 winners.

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While results have not gone their way for Belles’ development team in the FAWNL Reserve League Midlands Division, developing players for the first team is the long term aim and three of the squad were on the bench for the trip to Stoke. Amy Nowell and Sidni Simmons came on as substitutes in the second half, while Natalie Banaszczyk was an unused substitute.

Belles do not have a first team game this Sunday, while the development team travel to Wolves Reserves.