Doncaster Belles: Concerns for Smith, Lipka ahead of FA Cup clash

Sue Smith. Photo by Jan Kruger via Getty Images
Sue Smith. Photo by Jan Kruger via Getty Images

Sue Smith and Kasia Lipka were both doubtful for Belles’ FA Women’s Cup fourth round tie today.

The midfield pair are nursing pre-season injuries, with Lipka battling with an Achilles problem and Smith - who faced 15 months on the sidelines in 2012 - overcoming an ankle injury.

Boss Gordon Staniforth wanted to wait until the night before to see if the duo would be fit to face Copsewood Coventry the following day.

Belles’ opponents are current leaders of the Midlands Women’s Combination League - the third tier of women’s football - and are unbeaten in 13 matches.

“Sue and Kasia are 50/50, we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Staniforth.

“If they aren’t available, that gives our other players a chance to step up.

“We have enough players now to give them that opportunity.”

On Sunday’s opponents, he said: “We’ve had them watched and I’ve spoken to coaches who have played against them.

“They’re a very, very good side who we won’t be taking lightly. They’re unbeaten in the league and we respect them as a team.

“They’ve got two speedy wingers and they like to play good football.”

Staniforth, an FA Cup semi-finalist in 1987 for Plymouth Argyle, will also be making his home bow at the Keepmoat Stadium after taking over from John Buckley.

“I just can’t wait to get going, it’ll be a great occasion for Doncaster, myself and the Belles,” he added.

* Belles v Copsewood Coventry, today, Keepmoat, 2pm kick-off.