Neil Matthews’ Arnold Eagles side returned to league action on Sunday afternoon, for the first time in six weeks, and moved top of the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Division One Central courtesy of a 5-1 home win over local rivals, Sandiacre Town.
With only Mansfield Town, in the EMWRFL Premier Division, collecting a point at Ilkeston Town, the Eagles’ victory was the only highlight in women’s football across the county, with Natasha Leach again amongst the scorers.
It was a fifth successive victory for them and the hosts raced into a two-goal lead thanks to a quick-fire brace from Hannah Daniel, in the 18 and 19 minute; the visitors pulled a goal back but were undone later on in the half when Leach grabbed two goals either side of the half-hour mark to open a 4-1 advantage at the break.
Taking their foot off the gas in the second, the Eagles only registered one more goal, Leach completing her hat-trick with fifteen remaining, the hosts content to claim the three points above all else, and in turn, move two clear of second place Nottingham Trent University, with a game in hand.
The hosts afforded a full debut to young Autumn Ross, she impressing throughout, whilst Eleanor Sims returned to the squad following a lengthy lay-off; it’s another local derby, again at home, for the Eagles in their next outing, when they welcome Sherwood on Sunday 5 November, and maybe increase that advantage atop of the division.
Arnold Eagles – Ciara Button, Demi-Leigh Crofts, Hannah Daniel, Emma Goddard, Hannah Hughes, Natasha Leach, Ellie Parr, Fiona Plumb, Autumn Ross, Lydia Stewart, Chloe Stocks (subs – Amy Gauvrit, Mollie Rowden, Eleanor Sims, Emma Keay)
Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town Ladies meanwhile, in the Premier Division, were the only other side to register points on Sunday afternoon, they being held to a 1-1 draw when away to Ilkeston Town as they look to keep pace with the top three (Lincoln United, Rotherham, and Chesterfield).
Grace Shipman afforded the visiting Stags an interval lead, however, the hosts levelled in the second period through Sophie Bain, the two sides settling for a point apiece.
Mansfield Town – Amy Price, Maia Taylor, Martha Roper, Alaya Price, Eve Shaw, Libby Bartlett, Grace Shipman, Monica Bowley, Olivia Standeven, Erin James, Chrystal Smiley (subs – Andi Bell, Elizabeth Wright, Chloe Hutsby)
Other results in the EMWRFL saw Basford United suffer a 5-0 defeat away to Premier Division leaders, Lincoln United, and in the Central Division there was a 4-3 loss for NTU away to Asfordby Amateurs, and a 3-2 reverse for Sherwood at home to Beaumont Park.
Cup action was the order of the day for Nottinghamshire flagship, women’s clubs, however, both Nottingham Forest, and Notts County, suffered defeat, the former in the defence of the FA Women’s National League Cup they’d won the previous season.
Away to Newcastle United, who have former HC Andy Cook on their coaching staff following a successful spell on Trentside, Forest’s defence was washed away in the rain against a strong, Magpies side.
The hosts were two-goals to the good at the break when Naomi Bedeau played the ball out wide to Georgia Gibson, she proceeding to cut in from the corner of the box and curling an effort across goal and into Emily Batty’s top corner.
Seven minutes before the break and it was two, this time Batty managed to punch the ball clear through a melee of players, but only as far as Amber-Keegan Stobbs who fired the ball back past the visiting shot-stopper and into the net.
The third goal didn’t arrive until the closing minutes of the contest, the hosts wrapping up a comfortable, 3-0 win, winger Kacie Elson lofting a great effort over Batty from outside the box, and into the top corner.
Nottingham Forest – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Natalie Johnson, Olivia Cook, Holly Manders, Louanne Worsey, Mollie Green, Freya Thomas, Becky Anderson, Charlotte Greengrass, Abigial Cowie (subs – Aja Aguirre, Chloe Dixon, Laura-Jayne O’Neill, Sophie Domingo, Mai Moncaster)
Notts County meanwhile played their Women’s FA Cup match, on Sunday night, when home to near-neighbours, Loughborough Lightning, leaders of Division One Midlands.
Goalless at the break, Lauren Purchase opened the scoring ten minutes into the second period and, with a little over ten remaining, Hannah Langford headed home the decisive second from a corner to put the seal on a 2-0 victory.
The draw was also recently made for the Nottinghamshire FA Women’s County Cup quarter-finals, ties scheduled for Sunday 19 November 2023, and is as follows –
Basford United vs. Retford; Arnold Eagles vs. Keyworth United; Mansfield Town vs, Radcliffe Olympicl Mansfield Town Development vs. Arnold Eagles Flyers.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen Nottingham Forest suffered loss against Newcastle in the cup.