Carly Davies’ Nottingham Forest side returned to winning ways in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division at the weekend, and against one of their main rivals.
Prior to the visit of Daniel McNamara’s Wolverhampton Wanderers side, to Grange Park, Forest, who are fourth in the table, had lost two of their last three outings, since beating Wolves by the same score in the League Cup in early October.
The only change from that starting eleven, to this one, was the recent addition of Louanne Worsey, who started again (Laura-Jayne O’Neill on the bench), and, as with the October clash, it was Holly Manders the difference-maker.
She netted twice against Wolves in the Cup, and opened the scoring this time around also, just a little later this time; last season’s top-scorer, Charlotte Greengrass, was fouled in the penalty area and Manders stepped up to slot home from a dozen yards, just before the half hour mark.
The goal was to be Manders’ seventh of the season to date, and saw the Reds leading by one at the break; a well-marshalled back-line led by shot-stopper Emily Batty, and captain Lyndsey Harkin, kept the Wolves at bay as both sides strived to score.
This continued throughout the second period also, until the closing ten minutes of the contest when the hosts, finally, doubled their advantage, Abi Cowie played a perfect pass into the visiting box which finds Louanne Worsey and she, on the volley, fires home her first for the club to seal an impressive, 2-0 win.
Victory for the Reds sees them sitting in fourth place (15 pts) in the table, eight behind leaders Burnley (23 pts), but with two games in hand; Newcastle United sit in second (19 pts) and Wolves third (16 pts), just a point ahead of the Reds, who’ve now won five of their seven league matches this season.
This was the first of three, consecutive home games for Davies’ side, they welcoming Sheffield next (12 November), before the City Ground itself hosts the visit of Newcastle United a week later (19 November).
NOTTINGHAM FOREST – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Hasrkin, Natalie Johnson, Mai Moncaster, Molly Manders, Louanne Worsey, Mollie Green, Freya Thomas, Becky Anderson, Charlotte Greengrass, Abi Cowie (subs – Aja Aguirre, Olivia Cook, Laura-Jayne O’Neill, Niamh Reynolds, Sophie Domingo)
Adam Dunleavey’s Notts County will be picking apart the bones of what happened to his Division One Midlands side following their dismantling at Sporting Khalsa.
Sitting third bottom in the table there’s been few highlights thus far this season, and this wasn’t one of them, third place Khalsa romping to an 11-0 home win, five to the good at the break.
The hosts saw nine different scorers, score the opening goal after just nine seconds, and braces come from Laura Smith and Skye Owen, whilst three of their substitutes also netted on what was a great day for the hosts, and a not-so-great one for County.
Meanwhile, in the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division, Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town side continue to push for a promotion place with a hard-fought success over one of their promotion rivals.
Hosting Rotherham United, the fourth-place Stags moved level with their opponents following a 2-0 win, Chrystal Smiley having afforded them an interval lead before Maia Taylor wrapped up proceedings in the second.
Victory for the hosts now sees them sitting joint-third in the EMWRFL Premier, and three points behind second place Chesterfield, leaders Lincoln United are five points ahead of a Stags side who host newcomers, and mid=table side Dunton & Broughton United, in their next league outing (3 December).
MANSFIELD TOWN – Amy Price, Maia Taylor, Martha Roper, Chloe Hutsby, Eve Shaw, Libby Barlett, Millie Edwards, Elizabeth Wright, Olivia Standeven, Erin James, Chrystal Smiley (subs – Andi Bell, Alaya Price, Mathilda Evans, Ashleigh Evans, Grace Shipman)
At the other end of the Premier Division table, Basford United sit fourth bottom after they slipped to their third defeat in six, this time at home to an Ilkeston Town side who leapfrogged toe Notts club in the standings.
The visitors led 2-0 at the break, however, Basford struck back early in the second thanks to a quick-fore double from Phoebe Roe, however, the visitors rallied again to eventually seal, with two in the closing ten, a 5-2 win, Georgina Shaw having scored twice for Town.
BASFORD UNITED – Emma Porter, Devonn Cousins, Keeley Sanderson, Maisie Plumb, Phoebe Roe, Alana Crawford, Chloe Barkes, Libbi Mancienne, Anna Butcher, Izzy Sullivan, Laura Porritt (subs – Kaci Riley, Emma Ward, Keeley Butler, Georgia Gladwin, Kayleigh Downes)
Several Nottinghamshire clubs were also in action in the regional, Division One leagues, Retford suffering a heavy defeat when on the road at Oughtibridge War Memorial, they claiming a 6-0 win in the North division.
Neil Matthews’ Arnold Eagles top the Central following their fourth straight win (their only defeat in eight this season came via a penalty shoot-out in the Women’s FA Cup), their latest being a 4-2 derby success at home to Sherwood.
With eight wins and a draw (FA Cup) in their nine outings this campaign, their latest success saw them push their goals scored past the fifty mark, Courtney Walters with the landmark 50th and their opener.
Hannah Daniel and Mollie Rowden added further goals as the Eagles led by three at the interval however, a brace from Katie Fish kept Sherwood in the hunt in the second, Eagles’ top/record scorer, Natasha Leach, on-hand to wrap up the points.
Elsewhere in Central there was victory for Notts County Development, 2-1 at home to Sandiacre Town, and West Bridgford Colts were held to a 1-1 draw when home to Asfordby Amateurs.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @NFFCWomen Louanne Worsey celebrates her first goal for Forest.