Promotion-chasing Doncaster Rovers Belles get early Christmas present

Doncaster Rovers Belles received an early Christmas present as title rivals Lincoln City suffered only their second defeat of the season at the weekend.

By Paul Goodwin
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 5:00 am
Doncaster Rovers Belles. Photo: Julian Barker
Doncaster Rovers Belles. Photo: Julian Barker

However, Long Eaton United – who beat the Imps 4-1 on Sunday – have now also emerged as serious contenders for the one automatic promotion spot from FAWNL Division One Midlands.

Lincoln’s defeat means that Andy Butler’s Belles will end the year four points clear at the top of the table with 28 points from 12 games.

Long Eaton, who have one game in hand on Doncaster, and Lincoln, who have two games in hand on the leaders, both have 24 points.

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Fourth-placed Boldmere St Michaels, on 22 points, also cannot be ruled out of the promotion race with the majority of teams still yet to reach the halfway point in terms of games played.

Belles were second in the table – behind Wolverhampton Wanderers who have since been moved up to the FAWNL Northern Premier Division – when last season was cancelled due to coronavirus.

They were relegated from the Northern Premier Division in 2019 and initially struggled in the fourth tier but, following Butler’s appointment in January 2020, began to move in the right direction again.

Belles have ended 2021 with three successive wins against Holwell Sports, Peterborough United and Solihull Moors.

They return to action on January 9 at home to Burton Albion.