Following last weekend's comprehensive win, Belles continue their league campaign at the Iqbal Poultry stadium this Sunday when they take on visitors Leafield Athletic Ladies.
Belles manager Nick Buxton was generally pleased with the 6-1 win over bottom club Long Eaton Utd, but highlighted areas for improvement in a game which Belles dominated but only put to bed in the last ten minutes despite a host of chances throughout. That result sees Belles stay in third on goal difference in FAWNL Division 1 Midlands, closing the gap on leaders Stourbridge to five points.
Sunday's visitors Leafield Athletic Ladies sit two places beneath Belles in fifth position and on the same number of points, but have played four games more with six wins, four draws and four defeats. Formed in 1997, the Ladies are currently having their best season since returning to Tier 4 level in 2019, and have already accumulated nearly as many points at this stage as they did in the whole of last season when they finished just above the drop zone.
Our two clubs have met only five times, with Leafield winning the first meeting 3-0 at Rossington in 2019 and drawing 1-1 at Armthorpe in December 2020. Belles have won the other three games: 4-0 and 3-0 away in October 2020 and September 2021 respectively, and it was 5-1 to Belles on the EcoPower 4G when we last met in March 2022, with a brace each from Lauren Breen and Jasmine Saxton and a header from Jess Andrew sealing the points.
Belles are on a five-game unbeaten run in which they have scored twenty goals - ten each in the league and County Cup - and conceded just the one, that being against Long Eaton last weekend. Although being generally pleased with the overall performance against the division's strugglers, Nick Buxton will be looking to address the sloppiness that gifted that goal in the dying moments of the game.
Nick said:" it looks like we switched off once we had put the game to bed and there were only seconds left. Goes to show that goals can be scored at any time and we need to make sure on Sunday that we don't make it easy for Leafield to do so. If anything, we need to be making them worry about us and not the other way around. We scored six against Long Eaton but had so many more chances that we should have put away - Leafield will be looking to make sure we don't get anywhere as near as many chances as we did then, so it's important that we are clinical in our finishing if and when we do get them.
"Leafield have won their last two games so will be looking to continue that run. Then again, we're unbeaten in five and have four more home games on the trot. We need to use that to our advantage to clock up more points and I've set a target to the players of not getting beat in February. If we can do that, then we will be still very much in the mix as we move into the final third of the season.
The game kicks off at 2pm at the Iqbal Stadium, Moorends, DN8 4NA