Belles play their final away league game of the season when they travel to Shropshire to take on Wem Town Ladies this Sunday.
Nick Buxton's side returned to winning ways last weekend with a comprehensive 3-0 win away at Leafield Athletic, courtesy of a Sophie Brown hat-trick and a strong team performance.
That result moved Belles back up to second in the league, but the promotion push is over as leaders Stourbridge secured the title with a home win, meaning Belles are now looking to consolidate the runners-up spot for a second season in a row.
Speaking about the performance at Leafield, Nick said:” I thought we were fantastic from start to finish – the girls never stopped working and I can’t fault their work rate. We changed formation to see how that would work as we’ve maybe been a bit conservative in the recent away games.
“We’ve worked with our strikers this week and we’re really pleased for Sophie Brown – she works hard to win the ball and close down the opposition and has earned her goals, with a great strike for the third.
Sunday’s opponents Wem Town Ladies are staring relegation in the face as they sit in eleventh place with two games to go, those games being Belles at home and then Sheffield FC away the following weekend. Even if Wem win those two games, they still need Leek Town in tenth place to lose both their remaining games in order to first draw level on points and then overcome a goals-difference deficit of eleven with Leek.
Only last month Belles beat Wem 2-1 in the reverse fixture which had to be hastily rearranged on the 4G at the Eco-Power due to a waterlogged pitch at Moorends, with Belles coming from behind to take the points thanks to late strikes from Sophie Brown and Shelbey Morris.
Nick said:” When they played at ours, Wem showed they were a good side and perhaps unlucky to lose that game, so we will be need to be on our toes on Sunday. It will be their last home game of the season and with the position they are in they need the points so it will be a tough game. Then again, if we play the way we did at Leafield, then there aren’t many teams who can handle that - we’ve just got to keep pushing on to the end of the season and look to secure second place.
Regardless of the result on Sunday, Wem will be officially relegated if Leek Town don’t lose at home against Sheffield FC. If Wem win and Leek lose, that will take it to the final weekend.
Belles currently need four points from their three remaining games to secure the runners-up spot - though that could happen this Sunday if Belles win at the Butler Sports Centre and Peterborough fail to beat Stourbridge at home.
Otherwise Belles would need not to lose their final two league games to be certain of coming second, being at home to fourth-placed Northampton at the Eco-Power Stadium on the 30th April, and again at home for the final game of the season against third-placed Peterborough at Moorends on May 7th.
The game on Sunday 23th April kicks off at 2pm.
Address: Butler Sports Centre, Bowens Field, Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5AP.
DIRECTIONS FROM DONCASTER:
Take the M18 south to the M1, and then take the M1 south.
Leave the M1 at Junction 28, taking the A38 towards Derby.
Continue on the A38 through Derby towards Burton.
Leave the A38 at Toyota Island, taking the A50 westwards towards Stoke-on-Trent.
Continue on the A50 through Stoke-on-Trent to the A500 Sideway Junction.
Turn left onto the A500/Queensway heading towards the M6 / Stone /Newcastle-under-Lyme.
At the Hanchurch Interchange, turn left into A519 Newcastle Road.
At the traffic lights, turn right into A5182 Trentham Road, passing over the M6, and take the left at the roundabout onto the A53 towards Market Drayton.
Continue on the A53 towards and then past Market Drayton (passing over the A51 at Blackbrook).
After Market Drayton, leave the A53 at Tern Hill roundabout, turning right onto the A41 towards Whitchurch.
At Sandford, turn left into the B5065 towards Prees Green.
At Prees Green, turn right onto the A49 towards Whitchurch, and then take the second-left into Aldersey Lane.
At the T-junction with the B5476 turn left towards Wem.
In Wem, turn right into Pyms Road and then right into Bowens Field, with Butler Sports Centre on the right.