After a late goal by Sophie Scargill sealed victory for Nick Buxton’s side in their last outing, Belles turn their attention to Vitality Women's FA Cup action as they welcome Leicester City Ladies to the Iqbal Poultry Stadium on Sunday.
Belles historically have an impressive record in the FA Cup, winning the trophy six times and finishing as runners-up seven times. Only Arsenal has appeared in more finals. The last time Belles won the FA Cup was in their eleventh final in twelve seasons back in 1994, beating Knowsley United (now Liverpool Women FC) 1-0 at Glanford Park with Karen Walker scoring the all-important goal.
Opponents Leicester City Ladies F.C. was formed in 1966 and is the oldest women's club in England still existing in its original guise. Although it has historical links to Leicester City FC, it is a separate entity to Leicester City Women, now of the WSL. Surprisingly, considering the long history of both clubs, Sunday's game will be the the first time the two teams have met.
City Ladies plays its football at Tier 6 level in the East Midlands Regional Division 1 South, although until only recently it had been a FAWNL side, having suffered relegation from Tier 4 into local regional football in 2018. This season City Ladies have played only two games and currently sit sixth in the league with one win and one defeat.
Belles manager Nick Buxton was keen to stress how important the FA Cup is to the club: “Historically we are one of the FA Cup's most successful clubs and it would be great to have a good cup run for our players and supporters. It’s a great competition to be a part of, and though Leicester may be two divisions below us, we can’t take them lightly - we have to continue our recent good performances so that we progress."
Last season Belles saw themselves safely through to the First Round proper after seeing off Nottingham Trent University 3-0, with goals from Jasmine Saxton, Nadia Khan and Jess Andrew.
The game kicks off at 2pm at the Iqbal Stadium, Moorends, DN8 4NA