West Bromwich Albion Women 0-6 Nottingham Forest Women (FA Women’s National League North) 21.08.22
Following on from a summer which saw a number of tough, pre-season friendlies, and several new signings, Andy Cook’s Reds kick-started the new season with victory in the West Midlands, comfortably seeing off hosts West Bromwich Albion, 6-0.
Facing the like of Liverpool, Sunderland, Sheffield United and Newcastle United, over pre-season, certainly strengthened the resolve of a Forest side that were within touching distance of a top three finish last time out.
They’ll be hoping to better it when the new campaign, comes to its conclusion, next summer, Head Coach Andy Cook telling the clubs’ official website prior to the game that –
“Last season we were slightly disappointed with where we finished, although having said that it was a tight division and we were one win away from finishing third, so we’ll look to build on that this year.
“We had a great start to the season last year, slowed down a little bit in the middle and then ended really strongly, so we’ll be looking to start strong again this time around and hit the ground running.
“The key task this summer was to see how we could strengthen and identify the key areas we wanted to improve, and on top of that we wanted to keep the core of the team from last season because I believe in the ability of this group.”
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As for the season opener in the West Midlands, Forest could have won by a much bigger margin, the Reds having hit the crossbar on four occasions, two of which came in quick succession in the build-up to their second goal.
Although netting six, only one came in the first half, and late on at that with Charlotte Steggles heading home the Reds’ season opener from a Lyndsey Harkin corner, the experienced captain (Harkin) picking up where she left off last season).
It didn’t take long upon the restart for number two, and with it, the floodgates opening when, after Becky Anderson and Charlotte Steggles both hot the home crossbar, Charlotte Greengrass on-hand to fire home.
The crossbar continued to be rattled, saving the hosts’ blushes throughout, whilst Forest would also see a second half effort disallowed for offside before substitute, Gianna Mitchell, got in on the act after fellow sub, debutant Yasmin Mosby, and Anderson, linked up well, the latter threading through Mitchell who smashed home an unstoppable third.
Now, moving out of sight, the Reds would add further goals in the closing stages of the season opener when first Anderson would be rewarded for her hard work to fire home a screamer; Mai Moncaster added to last seasons’ form with her first of the campaign this time around; then, inside the closing ten, Mosby notched herself a debut goal.
The hosts did have a few chances throughout the game, but Reds ‘keeper, Emily Batty, and her defence, holding firm throughout.
Next up for Forest Women, their first home game of the season, when they welcome Fylde Ladies on Sunday 28 August, before hosting Liverpool Feds early next month – details HERE.
Nottingham Forest: Emily Batty, Hayley James (Naomi Powell 77), Georgia Hewitt, Lyndsey Harkin, Olivia Cook, Charlotte Steggles, Amy West, Becky Anderson, Charlotte Greengrass (Gianna Mitchell 56), Mai Moncaster (Niamh Reynolds 82), Sophie Domingo (Yasmin Mosby 56).
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen action from a comprehensive first day victory at West Bromwich Albion.