Forest Through To Semi-Finals

Having won the FA Women’s National League Plate last season, Andy Cook’s Nottingham Forest side are through to the semi-finals (first time since 2016) of this season’s League Cup competition following a hard-fought, 2-1 win, over Burnley on Sunday afternoon their reward a home tie with Portsmouth.

Made to fight from the off, Forest went in at the interval a goal to the good following a converted spot-kick, by Charlotte Steggles, just after the half-hour mark; however the second period would see the withdrawal of long-serving Reds captain, Lyndsey Harkin, who recently played her 250th game for the club.

Harkin, who was on the end of a poor challenge by the hosts, has led the Reds well for a number of years, and would have been delighted to see her side add a decisive, second goal, with ten minutes remaining, when a counter-attack was finished off by substitute, Gianna Mitchell, who’d only been on the pitch a matter of minutes.

Forest could have added a third minutes later however, Mai Moncaster, who’d replaced Harkin on the hour, saw her effort come back off the crossbar, and Burnley went up the other end and pulled a goal back to make for a nervy, final five.

Victory was their fourteenth in all competitions this season, and, with them sitting atop of the National League North, they also have both the Notts FA County Cup quarter-final, alongside the League Cup semi-final, in which to look forward to.

It’s back to league duty now though, and three games on the road for Cook’s Reds with Huddersfield Town next up, on 29 January, followed by trips to Liverpool Feds (5 February) and the table-topping battle with rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers (12 February).

NOTTINGHAM FOREST – Aja Aguirre, Lyndsey Harkin (Mai Moncaster, 62), Olivia Cook, Charlotte Steggles, Sophie Domingo (LJ O’Neill, 76), Yasmin Mosby (Gianna Mitchell, 76), Arryana Daniels, Becky Anderson, Hayley James, Charlotte Greengrass (Rosetta Taylor, 88), Naomi Powell (Niamh Reynolds, 76)

In the Reserves Midlands Division it was a case of top versus bottom as Forest’s Reserves, flying high at the top of the table, welcomed bottom of the table, Long Eaton United Development, the Reds looking to add to their, already impressive, goals tally.

As expected, it was to be another win for the Reds’ second string, they claiming a 5-1 win having raced out of the blocks, and into a three-goal lead within the opening fifteen minutes, early goals coming from Jessica Melrose, Olivia Edwards, and Evie Quinn.

Holding a 3-0, interval lead, the visitors pulled back a consolation, only for second half substitute, Jessica Waplington, on for Takiah Burnett at half-time, added a brace, in the final ten minutes, she doubling her tally for the season to four (in seven).

In the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division, Adam Dunleavy’s Notts County Women continued their impressive start to the season, picking up an eighth win in ten, to further stretch their lead at the top, more as Neil Matthews’ battling Arnold Eagles snatched a point when away to second place, Chesterfield.

Trailing at the break, when home to Oughtibridge War Memorial, County came out all guns blazing in the second period and, thanks to a quick-fire brace from Audrey Huskisson-Moore, with twenty remaining, turned the game around.

Nikki Emery wrapped up the points for the hosts when slotting home with seven minutes remaining to put the seal on a 3-1 win.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield and Arnold Eagles battled through a six-goal thriller to claim a share of the spoils with the Eagles taking an interval lead having netted just before the break, Demi-Leigh Crofts with the opener.

Upon the restart, the goals flowed as the hosts levelled via Millie Jebb-Greer just before the hour, the Eagles restored their lead five minutes later, record scorer, Natasha Leach, notching.

Emma Young then levelled for a second time for the hosts a little over minutes after that, putting home a rebound with twenty left on the clock, before the visiting Notts side made it 3-2 with fifteen left, substitute Hannah Daniel scoring from a corner.

Still time for further drama, it came when, following another corner, the hosts snatched a point in stoppage time as Maddison Francis-Creaser grabbed a third.

Meanwhile, Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town were also involved in a tough battle when they faced lowly visitors, Rotherham United, the hosts snatching a 1-0 win thanks to a second half goal from Grace Shipman, her first for the club; it was a victory which sees them maintain fourth place.

The only other game played in the EMWRFL involving a Notts side was in Division One Central, hosts Nottingham Trent University conceding two in each to crash to a 4-0 home defeat against Dronfield Town.

In the Nottinghamshire Girls & Ladies League, Keyworth United defeated visiting Retford in the only game played, 3-2 at home.

Two goals from Sophie Beresford set the hosts on their way to a valuable, three points, whilst Kelly Clayton also netted, in doing so, inflicting a second, consecutive defeat on their visitors, who replied through Emma Broome, and Isabella Thorpe, the result working out well for leaders, Mansfield Development.

As mentioned last week, the draw for the quarter-finals of the Nottinghamshire FA Women’s County Cup (ties to be played 19 February) has also been made with Mansfield Hosiery Mills hosting Notts County, Sherwood welcoming NG&L side, Retford, Basford United and Mansfield Town clashing, whilst Nottingham Trent University, they get the plum tie of Nottingham Forest.

In addition, the draw for the quarter-finals of the EMWRFL Cup and Plate competitions have been drawn (ties to be played 12 February) with the following (Notts clubs in CAPITALS) –

LEAGUE CUPARNOLD EAGLES vs. Chesterfield; Anstey Nomads vs. Lincoln United; NOTTS COUNTY vs. Ilkeston Town/Leicester City; Northampton Town vs, Oughtibridge War Memorial


Meanwhile, the draw for the FA Women’s National League Cup (ties to be played 5 March), is Nottingham Forest vs. Portsmouth, and Watford/MK Dons vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers/Huddersfield Town

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFCWomen the Nottingham Forest players celebrate during their win over Burnley.


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