Reds Hit Seven In Opening Day Win

Nottingham Forest’s new Head Coach, Carly Davies, saw her side start the new season in emphatic fashion, putting Stourbridge to the sword with a seven-goal demolition job on the opening day of the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier season.

The Reds, who missed out on promotion last time around in a season which saw a league and cup double attained, have started the new one in blistering fashion, Davies handing debut starts to summer signings Natalie Johnson, Holly Manders, and Freya Thomas, whilst bringing on a fourth, Chloe Dixon, in the closing minutes.

It would be a game which would see both debutant starters net, as did last season’s top scorer, Charlotte Greengrass, and Sophie Domingo, the hosts running riot at their new, Grange Park home, in Long Eaton.

Greengrass would be first to find the back of the net, and as early as the sixth minute, she getting on the end of a low cross from Manders to fire home from close range; it took nearly another fifteen minutes before number two arrived but, once it did, the flood gates inevitably opened.

Domingo would help herself to a quick-fire brace when first, Thomas lost her marker on the wing and released Domingo who finished well, then, two minutes later, she added the hosts’ third goal after an effort from Becky Anderson came back off the cross-bar, Domingo on hand to slot home the rebound.

With the game already out-of-sight at three-nil, the Reds double that by the interval, heading into the break with a strong, 6-0 advantage – goals in the final ten minutes of the half coming from first, debutant Holly Manders, she adding a debut goal to her earlier assist.

Greengrass then grabbed her second of the game following a set-up from Domingo, then, in stoppage time, another debutant, Nat Johnson, stole forward from the back to send the home following into raptures.

After the first half demolition job, the Reds took their foot off the accelerator in the second, adding just the one goal when just after the hour mark, Greengrass completed her hat-trick, finishing well in the bottom corner of the visiting goal for the games’ seventh.

Domingo had several chances to also bag a hat-trick, but Stourbridge had a stronger second period than first, conceding just that one extra – but it was enough for the Reds to start this campaign as they’d finished the last, on top of the table.

Next up for the Reds is a cup match away to Solihull Moors, on Sunday 27 August, before making the trip to West Bromwich Albion, in the league, in early September; the next home game for Davies’ sharp-shooters, 10 September against AFC Fylde, at Grange Park.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Natalie Johnson, Olivia Cook, Sophie Domingo (Chloe Dixon, 90), Mai Moncaster, Holly Manders, Freya Thomas, Becky Anderson, Hayley James, Charlotte Greengrass.

With the National League kicking off, that also meant the new season began in the Division one Midlands, for Adam Dunleavy and his Notts County charges, when they visited the LNER Stadium, opposing hosts Lincoln City.

However, it was a National League return to forget for the Pies, they crashing to a 6-2 reverse against the Imps.

It would be the hosts who’d open the scoring inside twenty minutes through debutant Millie Quaintance, County youngster Skye Lakin-Wright equalising minutes later, direct from a corner.

Toni McHamilton notched her first of two goals for the Imps just before the half hour mark, and Ella Thompson-Moulding made it four shortly after; as the game ticked towards the interval, Leah Hardy adding a crushing fifth goal with hosts going in at the break 5-1 to the good.

A dream start to the second for the Imps saw McHamilton bag her second of the game and, although Katie Platts added a late second for the Pies, it would be too little, too late, as they suffered an opening day, 6-2 reverse.

Lincoln meanwhile, alongside starting with the opening day win, fielded a couple of former Nottingham Forest Reserves players in Summa Betts and Olivia Standeven, Betts having bagged seventeen times last season in the Reserves Midlands Divsision.

NOTTS COUNTY – Phillipa Davies, Mollie-Mae Crump, Amy Colledge, Holly Fowler, Emily Stretton, Elizabeth Queen, Anne Taylor, Elle Rowson, Skye Lakin-Wright, Nicola Russell, Emily Brett.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFCWomen Sophie Domingo and Charlotte Greengrass are stars of the show for Forest.

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