Mansfield Town Ladies 1-10 Nottingham Forest Women (Notts FA Senior Women’s Cup Final) 11.05.22
It’s been a long season in the women’s game, and two of Nottinghamshire’s finest side’s, Nottingham Forest Women and Mansfield Town Ladies, went into the Notts FA Women’s County Cup final, with the chance of finishing their respective campaigns with a cup double.
Andy Cook’s Reds had already bagged the FA Women’s National League Plate (with a 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon Ladies), whilst Andi Bell’s Lady Stags also have the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Plate final to contest (against Rotherham United Women) later this month.
In holding back a first quarter onslaught, Mansfield feel behind on 21 minutes, Gianna Mitchell with her first of the night pretty much nudged the gates open and, as the game motioned towards the break, two further goals were added, Charlotte Steggles and Amy West affording a three-goal cushion for the Reds at the break.
Ellie Marshall pulled a goal back for the Stags within ten minutes of the restart, but nothing would prepare for what was to come, Forest moving up through the gears and killing off any hopes of a comeback, emphatically.
A quick-fire pair of goals, either side of the seventy minute mark, from Georgia Hewitt and Hayley James, suddenly opened up a four-goal cushion, the game heading into the final quarter
However, as was in the closing stages of the first, was the end of the second, Mansfield, quite literally, running out of steam; Beth Jones, to her credit, kept the Forest onslaught at bay as best she could, but even she couldn’t have been ready for the final ten (plus stoppages).
Chances for Mansfield, throughout, were minimal, but they had them, kept plugging away; for small periods they applied pressure on Forest, giving the Reds something to think about, however, a double loss didn’t help.
Having seen their captain, Amy Dawson, go off with concussion at the interval, then, having used their substitutes, lose their stand-in ‘keeper, Beth Jones, to injury, and, combined, with seven of the ten goals coming late in their respective halves, it was tough to take overall.
Charlotte Greengrass would grab her first on 79 minutes, quickly adding a second minutes later, before completing her hat-trick at the end of the ninety minutes, completing a quick-fire, elven minute hat-trick.
All of a sudden, Greengrass’ third made the score 8-1, and there was still stoppage time to endure for Andi Bell’s charges, a period in which two further goals were added, Gianna Mitchell, who’d opened the scoring in what would seem a lifetime prior, with both, completing a hat-trick of her own.
In Forest, it was the completion of a cup double to finish the season, they adding the County Cup, to the National League Plate, Mansfield meanwhile, they need to dust themselves ready to go again later this month, when they face Rotherham United in the final of the EMWRFL Plate.
Afterwards, Forest Coach, Andy Cook, whilst also affording praise and credit to Mansfield, said: “The best way to end this season!
“A lot of good moments, and some frustrating ones along way, but tonight was brilliant to end with the second trophy of the season.
“Thank you to Andi Bell and her staff and team Mansfield Town Ladies.
“While the score-line might suggest a certain type of game, they were tough to break down and had a good plan for the game and caused us problems just after half-time.
“The club is in good hands with Andi.”
Meanwhile, Mansfield’s Monica Bowley added: “We knew it would be a battle, but I’m proud of this team!
“We definitely gave them a battle but there’s no denying the difference of them.
“Well Done ladies! Rest up!
“Thank you to everyone who wished us good luck, who came to the ground, who streamed it online, and our mini stag girls who walked us out, your support means the world to us.”
Mansfield Town: Beth Jones, Amy Dawson (Hatty Heaney), Courtney Caunt, Monica Bowley, Kirsty Allen, Maia Taylor, Shannon Purdy (Jessica Parker), Ellie Marshall, Nikki Wigman, Georgia Gladwin, Gabriella Foulkes (Mathilda Evans).
Nottingham Forest: Aja Aguirre, Lyndsey Harkin, Georgia Hewitt, Charlotte Steggles, Mai Moncaster, Amy West, Niamh Reynolds (Alice Higginbottom), Gianna Mitchell, Hayley James (Olivia Cook), Charlotte Greengrass, Naomi Powell.
Venue: Greenwich Avenue (398)
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen the Forest players celebrate a goal against Mansfield.