Forest Beaten In League Return

Nottingham Forest Women 1-2 West Bromwich Albion Women (Women’s National League North) 20/12/20

Leading at the break, an unfortunate own-goal, and a second direct from a corner, condemned Nottingham Forest Women to a home defeat in their last game of 2020 when opposing West Bromwich Albion this afternoon.

Following a second, enforced break this year due to the ongoing, global pandemic, and last weekend’s expected restart for Nottingham Forest Women being postponed due to incessant weather conditions, Head Coach Andy Cook finally got his ladies on the field when home to West Bromwich Albion in the Women’s National League North.

There were places in the starting line-up for Rachel Brown, Katie Middleton and Annabel McKechnie, whilst Poppy Scholefield also took her place on the bench, both clubs taking this opportunity to pay homage to the Rainbow Laces campaign, the LGBT+ community, and inclusivity in sport.

The opening quarter of the game would see a fairly even split in possession between the two sides as only one point split the two sides in the league prior to kick-off, Forest striker, Rosie Axten, creating a number of opportunities which fail to get beyond Bastock in the visitors’ goal.

Further chances were created by the hosts with both Rachel Brown, heading over, and Annabel McKechnie, a blocked effort, giving Forest the upper-hand, whilst at the other end, Forest shot-stopper, Aja Aguirre, is relatively untroubled, and what is sent her way she deals with comfortably.

Heading towards the interval the visitors create from a free-kick which is dealt with and, in the immediate aftermath, at the other end, a low cross through the goalmouth is met by Hayley James at the far post, the Forest defender smashing past Bastock from close range to open the scoring seven minutes before the break.

Aguirre is called into action at the start of the second period when, six minutes in, Albion’s Arber finds herself clear through on the home goal and, before one-on-one becomes an option, she opts to shoot, the Forest ‘keeper however is an instant match, showing her speed and agility to advance from goal, get down well, and pull off a great save.

Bastock then pulls off a save equally as good at the other end when McKechnie finds herself breaking free only to be thwarted at the last, but, in an end-to-end start to the second period, the visitors snatch an equaliser when an a free-kick is whipped into the box and, attempting to clear, captain Harkin puts the ball past Aguirre for an own-goal.

Unbowed, Forest continued a relentless assault on Albion’s goal and Rosie Axten goes agonisingly close immediately after the equaliser, curling agonisingly wide of the upright before the unthinkable happened.

Having led at the break, Forest would soon find themselves chasing the game. Less than ten minutes after equalising the visitors were in front as George nets past Aguirre direct from a corner and Forest have twenty-five or so minutes to get something from a game that was initially theirs for the taking.

In an attempt to snatch a point from the game Cook makes a double-change as Forest headed into the final quarter, bringing on Bex Rayner and Poppy Scholefield prior to Charlotte Steggles trying her luck from distance but to no avail and Lucy Johnson sees a chance go begging.

Johnson has a number of chances to equalise in the closing minutes after collecting a short pass from Charlotte Steggles but again, Bastock proves a sticking point in the visitors’ goal. Steggles replaced by Mai Moncaster in stoppage time before Rayner’s free-kick is fired wide by Johnson, the hunt continued.

However, the visitors held on to snatch victory having trailed at the break, Albion winning 2-1 and moving above Forest in the table; Forest meanwhile, it’s onto the Vitality Women’s FA Cup away to Wolves on January 3.

Forest: Aguirre, James, Greengrass, Harkin, Johnson, Brown, Steggles (Moncaster), Middleton (Rayner), Naylor, McKechnie (Scholefield), Axten.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFCWomen action from Coronation Park as Forest are beaten by West Brom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *