A bad weekend for Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup was compounded on Sunday afternoon as their women’s side followed suit of the men in exiting their respective competition, when on the road.
Just as the Steve Cooper’s side had done on Saturday, losing 4-1 away to Blackpool, Andy Cook’s side lost 3-0 away to Championship outfit, Sheffield United, and several, former Reds, one of whom found the net – step forward, Bex Rayner.
An even, opening forty-five, in a game which was contested in all, weather conditions, finished goalless, both sides having chances, however, upon the restart, it would be the Championship side who’d come out the more wanting.
Within minutes of the restart, Emily Batty would find herself beaten for the first time in the game, great work from Mia Enderby finishing with Courtney Sweetman-Kirk opening the scoring for the Blades.
Less than ten minutes would elapse before the lead was doubled, this time a former Red getting the goal with a cracker of a strike; receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Bex Rayner would take aim and fire a screamer into Batty’s top corner.
Former Reds Tamara Wilock and Rachel Brown both entered the fray against their former club late in the second half and, as the game ticked into the final, twenty minutes, the hosts added a third when Enderby got her goal.
Having been the provider for the opener, at the start of the second half, Enderby got herself onto the end of a Rhema Lord-Mears cross into the box to complete the scoring, and send the Blades into a Vitality Women’s FA Cup Fourth Round clash with Women’s Super League side, Manchester City.
Nottingham Forest – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Georgia Hewitt, Olivia Cook (Niamh Reynolds, 73), Sophie Domingo (Gianna Mitchell, 73), Yasmin Mosby (Rosetta Taylor, 84), Amy West, Arryana Daniels (Charlotte Steggles, 58), Becky Anderson, Hayley James, Charlotte Greengrass (Naomi Powell, 73)
Forest’s focus now turns back to the league, and next weekend’s match away to AFC Fylde; meanwhile, Forest’s second string, top of the Midlands Reserves Division, romped to another victory, this time winning 6-1 away to Lincoln City Development.
At Sincil Bank, Forest’s second string took their league tally for the season to thirty-nine scored (conceding just six) from their eight matches, and are currently three ahead of second place Derby County Development.
Leading by five at the break, Summa Betts taking her tally for the season to eleven (in seven) with a brace late in the first, they came after Laura Dexter had opened the scoring just after the half hour, Emily Jacobs doubled the lead minutes later, before LJ O’Neill, recently returned from injury, and a year-long lay-off, grabbed her first of the season.
Replacing scorer, Betts, on the hour, substitute Evie Quinn also found the net, within ten minutes of coming on, increasing that sizable goal-difference the Reds’ second string presently boast (+33).
The East Midlands Women’s Regional League Cup, and Plate, both saw action when, in the former, Arnold Eagles progressed when edging hosts Kettering Town, 3-2, Lauren Adams netting a brace for the hosts whilst the Eagles netted through Natasha Leach, Holly Gibson and Ellie Leathen, the latter two netting in the final ten minutes.
Northampton Town Development dismissed their visitors, Premier Division side Mansfield Town Ladies, 3-1, thanks to goals from Keira Doig, Mia Richards, and Kitty Crouch, whilst Notts County progressed following a home walkover against Rotherham United.
In the Plate, West Bridgford Colts progressed courtesy of a comfortable, 5-0 home win, against Lincoln United, Christina Brewer bagging a hat-trick, and Hannah Luk adding a brace, whilst Nottingham Trent University also edged through, on penalties, following a 1-1 draw with Notts County Development.
The Nottinghamshire Girls & Ladies League also saw cup action as Retford romped through following a 7-0 win away to Sports Gateway Hucknall, Ellie Sims and Isabelle Thorpe both with the braces, alongside goals from Victoria Mallinson, Emma Broome, and Georgia Lewis, whilst Lowdham Colts won 4-1 at home to Teversal, the hosts netting via Alice Anderson, Lucy Clapp, Emily Salisbury, and Maddy Pharoah, Abbey-Jay Roberts replying.
Meanwhile, the one league game played, saw Keyworth United move fourth, with games in hand on those around them, following a 6-1 win on the road at Arnold Eagles Flyers, Jenna Stocks with a hat-trick alongside goals from Shantay Wright and Abbie Worth.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen Sophie Domingo in action for Forest.