Nottingham Forest Women boss, Andy Cook, utilised his full, sixteen-player squad on Sunday afternoon as they reached the final of the FA Women’s National League Plate competition courtesy of a 3-0 win away to Cheltenham Town Ladies.
A brace from Charlotte Greengrass, and one from Gianna Mitchell put the Reds into the final against AFC Wimbledon, who knocked four past Sporting Khalsa themselves to progress, two of Forest’s three came during the first period.
The opening goa arrived midway through the first period when Mitchell chested down a cross from Georgia Hewitt and fired an effort into the top corner for her second in two outings; the lead was doubled with ten minutes of the first remaining as captain Lyndsey Harkin played Rosie Axten on the left flank who, after driving into the box, pulled the ball back for Greengrass to calmly fire home.
Two up at the break, Forest Coach, Cook, made all his changes during the second, the third goal arriving on the hour as Mitchell, Hewitt and Greengrass linked up on the edge of the area, the latter firing her second, and Forest’s third, into the top corner.
The final, against AFC Wimbledon Ladies, is scheduled to be played at Solihull Moors FC on 24 April, KO 11am.
Forest: Emily Batty (Aja Aguirre 85), Lyndsey Harkin, Georgia Hewitt (Naomi Powell 76), Rachel Brown (Niamh Reynolds 64), Olivia Cook (Mai Moncaster 76), Rosie Axten, Gianna Mitchell, Charley Docherty, Becky Anderson (Grace Walters 76), Hayley James, Charlotte Greengrass.
Doubling up on their weekend success, their Reserves also bounced back from the previous weekend, putting five past visitors Sporting Khalsa Development in the Reserves Midlands League, Sarah Richardson’s side winning 5-1.
Sisters Bea and Eloise Hembrough netted, as did Molly Towers, Summa Betts (13 goals in 15 games), and the visitors misery compounded with an own-goal for added measure, the Reds’ second string eleven adrift of runaway leaders, Wolverhampton Wanderers Women Reserves.
Another cup finalist this season in Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town Ladies, victory though coming at a cost after they lost goalkeeper Vanessa Kinnerley early on, she going off after just fifteen minutes with a suspected Achilles injury.
At the time of the injury Mansfield were two goals to the good following early efforts from Georgia Gladwin and Ellie Marshall; however, the change rocked the hosts, albeit temporarily, and visiting opponents, Anstey Nomads, got themselves level thanks to efforts from Gemma Ball and Carmelina Colangelo, Gladwin sending the hosts in at the break with a 3-2 lead.
Having readjusted following the injury to Kinnerley, Bell’s side took to the business at hand in the second period, adding two further goals late on to progress to the final; first Jessica Parker restored that early, two-goal advantage with twenty remaining, before Gladwin completed her hat-trick in the closing minutes.
Mansfield will oppose Rotherham United Women in the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Plate final after they progressed courtesy of a 2-1 win away to Grimsby Borough Ladies (date tbc).
Mansfield Town: Vanessa Kinnerley (Bethany Jones 10), Maia Taylor (Kirsty Allan 65), Monica Bowley, Amy Dawson, Courtney Caunt, Mathilda Evans (Lydia Pascoe 75), Shannon Purdy, Jessica Parker, Ellie Marshall, Gabriella Foulkes, Georgia Gladwin.
Notts County Women missed out on a place in a final however when they lost their EMWRFL League Cup semi, 4-1, away to Derby County Academy, Emily Stretton with the Notts’ consolation effort in response to Derby goals from Olivia Edwards, Marli Rhodes-Andrews, and substitutes Iesha Rollins and Kelsey Wragg.
The only league game concerning Nottinghamshire clubs’ to go ahead in the EMWRFL came in Division One North, Arnold Eagles winning a local affair away to Nottingham Trent University 3-1, victory seeing them five clear of second place Grimsby Town Women.
Goals from Amy Gauvrit, Jessica Lorimer and Eve Shaw gave Neil Matthews’ side all three points for their ninth win (in eleven league outings) and afforded some breathing space ahead of the run-in.
As for the Nottinghamshire Girls & Ladies League, their Senior Cup competition saw Retford Women progress on the back of a 6-2 win away to Keyworth United Ladies, Mansfield Hosiery Mills win 4-2 at Newark Town, and Arnold Eagles Flyers win 2-1 in extra-time against visiting Sports Gateway CFC.
The Draw for the semi-finals of the Notts FA Women’s Senior Cup was also made this past week, tie to be played on 20 March as follows –
Notts County Women vs. Nottingham Forest Women; Mansfield Town Ladies vs, Arnold Eagles.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen Charlotte Greengrass in action for Forest against Cheltenham.