Wolverhampton Wanderers Women 0-4 Nottingham Forest Women (Women’s FA Cup Round Two) 05.12.21
Revenge is a dish best served in goals, and Nottingham Forest Women did just that at the weekend, progressing to the Third Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on the back of an emphatic, 4-0 win, over hosts Wolves Women.
In last season’s competition, a one just finished over the weekend following a dominant, Chelsea win over cross-London rivals, Arsenal, at Wembley, Forest would crash out of the competition via the lottery of penalties, following a 2-2 draw at Wolves.
This year, they made no mistake, none at all really, as Head Coach Andy Cook took his Forest charges, all eighteen of them, including a returning ‘keeper, Aja Aguirre, to the Black Country, and they didn’t disappoint.
In fact, inside the open ten minutes, the visitors asserted their authority, Hayley James most certainly did, providing the first couple of many deliveries throughout the game with the first being headed wide by Rachel Brown, and the second, hitting the side-netting by Mai Moncaster.
Moncaster would then to hit the post just after the quarter-hour mark having been played in down the right side, this coming right before the opening goal was plundered, finally scoring, at the third attempt, just before the twenty minute mark.
This time fellow attacker, Rosie Axten, would prove instrumental, she playing an excellent through-ball to Moncaster, who proceeds to flick it beautifully past Becky Thomas and into the bottom corner of the home goal.
Surprisingly, that’s how it would stay up to the break, just one goal splitting the two, divisional rivals, although the hosts would have plenty of chances in which to equalise as well, both Amber Hughes, and Beth Merrick, being unsuccessful in front of goal, before Moncaster again sees a cross gathered by Thomas.
It would take nearly fifteen minutes of the second period before the floodgates eventually opened up as James, who else, would cause havoc down the right, and her cross would be met Naomi Powell, she wasting no time in the sweeping the ball home for number two.
Either side of that decisive, second goal, Forest ‘keeper, Emily Batty, would be called into action and pulled off a fingertip save from Hughes’ long-range effort, whilst at the other end, Axten would see an effort scrambled clear.
Heading towards the final quarter and Cook’s Reds would put the game beyond their hosts, Forest now cruising towards an important win over their rivals when Niamh Reynolds getting on the end of a cross by Moncaster, applying a calm finish for the visitors’ third.
A couple of late substitutions from the visitors would prove a masterstroke from Cook when, after Charlotte Steggles had seen her effort tipped over Thomas with a little under ten remaining, the Reds brought on Katie Middleton, for Reynolds.
Moncaster would be seen to fire a right-footed effort wide just after before, and with game hitting the last minute, Middleton would be first to react to a ball rolled across goal, and smashed home the fourth, with conviction, to send the visitors into dreamland, and the hosts, crashing out.
Afterwards, Head Coach Andy Cook told the Forest website (full interview here) that: “It was a fantastic performance and we are really pleased to get through.
“We would have taken a scruffy 1-0 win or we would have even taken going through on penalties, but to perform like that and score four goals is fantastic. We are delighted.
“We always want to try and win each game, we have a way that we want to try and do things. The postponement last week gave us another three or four sessions to work on our style and that paid dividends today.”
Wolves’ manager, Dan McNamara said afterwards (full interview here): “It was disappointing. I don’t think we ever got going to be honest.
“Forest came and were aggressive, played with real intensity and I don’t think we ever matched it.
“We struggled to get going from the start, but the girls have been absolutely fantastic the last three months so I’m not questioning their efforts.
“I don’t think what we asked them to do worked, so it is one of those games we’ll put to bed quite quickly.
“I thought we lacked intensity and looked like a team that hadn’t played in a few weeks and that’s going to happen with the current weather we’ve had recently calling off games.
“I just don’t think we ever got going.”
Reward for their win over Wolves Women sees Forest make the trip to Stoke City Women in the Third Round (12 December), a team they also play next in the league, on 9 January.
Forest: Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Rachel Brown, Charlotte Steggles, Mai Moncaster, Rosie Axten (Amy West 79), Niamh Reynolds (Katie Middleton 86), Grace Walters, Becky Anderson, Hayley James, Naomi Powell.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen the Reds girls hunt down Wolves in packs during their win.