York City Ladies v Wallsend BC Ladies
Following a long and extended eight-week absence, York City Ladies are finally back in action when hosting Wallsend Boys Club Ladies at Haxby Road on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 2.00pm).
It's the first of a trio of tough encounters for the Minsterbelles, who also visit a confident Hartlepool United and table-topping Durham Cestria over the next fortnight. They then entertain the third of the newly-promoted clubs, Farsley Celtic.
Three first-half goals witnessed last season's runners-up Norton & Stockton Ancients adding maximum points to another expected title-challenge in City's most recent display as far back as the end of November.
However, that fixture witnessed the welcome return to home ranks of prolific goalscorer Lucy Lendhill, while there were also debuts for new goalkeeper Emily Garland and another recent signing, Rachel Hildreth.
Photo: Ian Parker
Megan Bramham gets stuck into Norton & Stockton, supported by Ellie Regan
Prior to that, York completed an important league double against struggling Castleford White Rose, winning 5-2 at home and then 2-0 on their travels - with Megan Bramham and Ellie Regan on target in both meetings. An excellent response having earlier lost their opening five games.
Weekend opponents Wallsend enjoyed a terrific first season at this level when eventually finishing third in the table back in May, with only champions Barnsley and Norton & Stockton directly ahead.
That included them recording a 6-1 victory in the corresponding game last term after leading goalscorer Bramham provided only slight consolation for the hosts.
Photo: Ian Parker
Free-scoring striker Lucy Lendhill skips past challenges on her Belles return
This time around the north-east outfit have completed just a handful of league fixtures, with one of those being a slender 1-0 success against a determined Belles towards the end of October.
They had previously won their opening couple of away ties at Castleford and RACA Tynedale, until then crashing 6-0 at home to Durham before surprisingly being held 3-3 at still winless Wakefield in their most recent outing.
There are no other currently scheduled league games this weekend, with the likes of Wakefield, Norton & Stockton and Tynedale instead being involved in cup action.