Nottingham Forest Women suffered their first defeat of the season at the weekend as visiting rivals, Wolverhampton Wanderers, went top of the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier on the back of a strong, 4-2 win in Nottingham.
Two gaols in each half for Wolves earned them maximum points, and in doing so saw hosts’ Nottingham Forest, concede for the first time this season, although Andy Cook’s charges did hold out until shortly before the interval.
The visitors opened the scoring as the first period headed into it’s final, ten minutes, Gauntlett finding herself in space in the attacking third, and, having been given time with the ball, fired home from distance, into Emily Batty’s top corner.
That lead was doubled minutes before the break when Amber Hughes notched her fifth in five outings for the West Country outfit, slotting home having made space in the Forest box, Batty having gone 305 minutes without conceding.
A second half rally came about, too late, and after the visitors had opened up a three-goal cushion, as Katie Johnson met a corner from Anna Morphet, heading home her third in two games after just five minutes fo the restart.
A flurry of changes followed, Forest boss, Cook, ringing the changes, and bringing about an upsurge in fortunes for the floundering Reds, one of those substitutes, Arryana Daniels, pulled the first back with a little over fifteen remaining, before Becky Anderson snatched a second, from a corner, minutes later.
Now just a one-goal game, both sides tussled for the advantage, one which eventually arrived, in stoppage time, for the visitors when Hughes, who’d notched late in the first, added her second, and Wolves’ fourth, of the game.
One of her own creation, Hughes challenges the Forest back-line, before breaking free, and curling an effort past Batty from the edge of the box, and into the top corner, a goal which would take her tally to six in five for the season.
Nottingham Forest – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Georgia Hewitt (Naomi Powell), Olivia Cook (Amy West), Charlotte Steggles (Gianna Mitchell), Sophie Domingo, Mai Moncaster, Niamh Reynolds (Arryana Daniels), Becky Anderson, Charlotte Greengrass, Hayley James
Defeat for Forest sees them slip to third in the table, four behind joint-leaders Wolves, and Burnley, with a game in hand; Burnley edged hosts Boldmere St Michaels 3-2, whilst Huddersfield Town, and Brighouse Town, also scored three each, against West Bromwich Albion (3-1, home), and Loughborough Lightning (3-0, away), respectively.
In the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League a handful of Notts clubs were action, with local derbies taking place in both the Premier, and Central Division.
Adam Dunleavy’s Notts County Women are joint-top of the Premier after two games, they coming from behind to win a local affair 4-2 at Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town, Ellie Marshall notching two for the hosts, and Shoniqua ‘Smurf’ Barnes replying with two of her own for County.
Level at ones apiece at the break, Barnes, who scored the last two goals, was joined on the County goal-run by Audrey Huskisson-Moore, who equalised, and Bella Reed, County also affording a debut to one of their under-18s graduates, Skye Larkin-Wright.
Basford United Ladies were also in action in the leagues’ top division, sharing the spoils in a 3-3 draw away to Anstey Nomads, whilst in the Central Division Nottingham Trent University Women romped to a five-goal, home win, over visiting Notts County Women Development.
Leading by two at the break, the University side cleaned up the points thanks to a hat-trick from Alice Rogers, and a brace from Bea Hembrough – of an eight-team division, after two games, seven of those sides are on three points apiece (Asfordby and Ilkeston have played once apiece).
Sherwood Women collected their first win, Zoe Meyrick and Esme Crosby notching in a 2-0 win away to Mansfield Hosiery Mills, whilst West Bridgford Colts crashed to a 4-1 loss away to Dronfield Town, Katie Rogers with the Colts’ consolation.
In the Notts Girls & Ladies League there was three away wins, and a high-scoring draw, University of Nottingham Women winning 6-3 at Sports Gateway Hucknall Ladies, Retford won 4-2 at NTU, and Teversal Ladies edged hosts Radlciffe Olympic, 3-1.
The draw arrived in the game between Keyworth United and Mansfield Town Development, the two sides sharing six goals with Saffron McCann, Lily Chapman, and Lucy Belz netting for the hosts, Grace Shipman with a brace, and substitute Courtney Caunt for the visitors.
Meanwhile, the Vitality Women’s FA Cup Second Qualifying Round draw has been finalised; ties to be played on Sunday 2 October, Notts sides’ involvement as follows –
Retford vs. Dronfield Town; Sherwood vs. Rugby Town; Thrapston Town vs Arnold Eagles; Notts County vs. Basford United; Nottingham Trent University vs. Allexton & New Parks; Mansfield Town vs. Bugbrooke St Michaels.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @GRileymassage Notts & Mansfield in action at Field Mill.