Women's football round-up: New Belles boss faces tough league opener

Doncaster Rovers Belles could not have more difficult opponents for Ciaran Toner’s first FAWNL Division One North match in charge.
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Unbeaten leaders Barnsley are the visitors to Thorne Colliery’s Iqbal Poultry Stadium on Sunday (2pm).

Barnsley have 22 points from eight games which include five clean sheets and they possess a 100 per cent record on their travels in the league.

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Conversely, Belles will be bidding for their first home points after their three home games to date having ended comfortably in favour of Leeds United, Middlesbrough and York City respectively.

Ciaran Toner. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIXCiaran Toner. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX
Ciaran Toner. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX

With Norton & Stockton Ancients beating York on Sunday, Belles have dropped a place to tenth behind the aforementioned pair on goal difference.

The trio have a three-point advantage over the two clubs in the relegation places.

While the table is not dissimilar to when Andy Butler took over the managerial reins in January 2020 with Belles too close for comfort to the relegation places in Division One Midlands, Toner has inherited a more orderly state of affairs.

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Following his appointment, Toner had a watching brief for a narrow 2-0 home defeat to Rugby Borough in the Adobe Women’s FA Cup before taking charge for the next game, the comfortable 13-0 away victory over Millmoor Juniors Development in the County Cup.

Sophie Norris scored for Harworth Colliery who lost 3-1 at home to Millmoor Juniors in the North East regional League Southern Division. Harworth visit Farsley Celtic Juniors this Sunday ahead of a key clash at home to Sheffield United CF a week later.

Mexborough Athletic bowed out of this season’s Sheffield & Hallamshire Women and Girls League Cup following a 3-0 home defeat to Penistone Church.

Mexborough have a crunch Division Three clash at home to leaders Dearne & District this weekend. Mexborough have a 100 per cent record from five league games and are just one point behind but with two games in hand.

Division One action sees AFC Bentley host Handsworth Development, while Rossington Main are due to play their first competitive game in over a month away to Brunsmeer Athletic.