Nottingham Forest captain, Lyndsey Harkin, will lead her side out at the Pirelli Stadium, against Watford, on Sunday 23 April, after she led by example to book the Reds’ place in the final of the FA Women’s National League Cup, in devastating fashion, following a 5-0 win at home to Portsmouth.
A tight, first half, was punctuated late on when, following a goalmouth scramble and Harkin would get the final touch to poke home the opener, Laura-Jayne O’Neill with a couple of the hosts’ few chances, either side of the goal.
Within five minutes of the restart Andy Cook’s side doubled their advantage when Becky Anderson scored her first of the afternoon, she capitalising on great work form Sophie Domingo, to score; the hosts were then, all but of sight, less than ten minutes later after Charlotte Greengrass, with her eighteenth of an industrious season, found herself working into space, drifting through to score.
Anderson’s second of the game saw the Reds move four goals to the good, and a foot in the final following a great move sees them split the visitors, and the Reds midfielder finishes well; then, with ten minutes to go, and in front a 400+ crowd, Cook brought on Georgia Hewitt for her 100th appearance for the club, replacing LJ O’Neill.
Another substitute, Mai Moncaster, who’d taken to the field ten minutes earlier, returning from an injury lay-off, would be the one to wrap up proceedings, and put Forest into the first, League Cup final, since 2011, she having snatched the ball from the visiting ‘keeper before firing home.
Forest will now play Watford, in the League Cup final, on 23 April, at the Pirelli Stadium, before which they face two league games, on the road, away to Boldmere St. Michaels (12 March), and Loughborough Lightning (16 March), before a trip to, Pride Park, and Derby County, at the end of the month
Nottingham Forest – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Olivia Cook, Charlotte Steggles, Sophie Domingo (Rosetta Taylor, 80), Yasmin Mosby (Naomi Powell, 73), Amy West (Mai Moncaster, 73), Arryana Daniels, Laura-Jayne O’Neill (Georgia Hewitt, 82), Becky Anderson, Charlotte Greengrass (Niamh Reynolds, 87)
Forest’s Reserves side continued their quest for the Reserves Midlands Division title when they saw off hosts Stoke City, 2-0, goals coming via an own-goal, and Olivia Standeven, early in the first, the Reds’ second string level on points (34 apiece) with rivals Derby County Development, although they do have a game in hand.
Next up for the Reserves, a trip to Stourbridge Reserves (12 March), before a repeat of last seasons’ County Cup final, with Forest travelling to Mansfield Town in this seasons semi-final (19 March).
Last week, in the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division, Mansfield Town welcomed Chesterfield, to the One Call Stadium, in front of a record 737 at a Mansfield Ladies home game.
Stags captain, Amy Dawson, bagged a first half brace, as the hosts went in 2-0 at the interval, however, second half goals from Sophie Marshall and Amy Pashley, restored parity, the sides sharing the spoils which kept them both, joint-second in the table.
On the Sunday, a lone goal from Laura Vine, midway through the second half, gave Premier Division leaders, Notts County, all three points in their pursuit of the title, and promotion, when home to Basford United.
The win, it sees them thirteen points clear of the next best sides, although Chesterfield, Mansfield, and fourth place Lincoln United, have games in hand.
Meanwhile, a brace for Natasha Leach, was insufficient as bottom of the table Arnold Eagles fell to a 3-2 defeat away to Oughtibridge War Memorial.
Of the Division sides, only Nottingham Trent saw their game go ahead, they falling to a 2-0 defeat away to Dronfield Town, in Division One Central.
There was only one league game played in the Nottinghamshire Girls & Ladies League, leaders Retford winning 2-0 at home to University of Nottingham IV, Emily North and Isabelle Thorpe with the goals.
As for the Senior Plate, a Jodie Ellis hat-trick helped Arnold Eagles Flyers through, 5-0, away to Gedling, Teversal won 4-2 at home to Lowdham Colts, and Radlciffe Olympic edged visitors Sherwood Development, 2-1, to progress.
The cup draws, involving Nottinghamshire sides (in bold), are as follows –
FA WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE CUP FINAL (at Pirelli Stadium, Burton, Sunday 23 April)
- Nottingham Forest vs. Watford
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE FA WOMEN’S COUNTY CUP SEMI-FINALS (Sunday 19 March)
- Mansfield Town vs. Nottingham Forest Reserves; Retford vs. Notts County
EAST MIDLANDS WOMEN’S REGIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINALS (Sunday 12 March)
- Arnold Eagles vs. Oughtibridge War Memorial; Ilkeston Town vs. Lincoln United
EAST MIDLANDS WOMEN’S REGIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLATE SEMI-FINALS (Sunday 12 March)
- Nottingham Trent University vs. Sherwood; Thrapston Town vs. Loughborough Foxes
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen celebrations as Forest march on.