Reds Draw In Derby

Carly Davies’ Nottingham Forest side were made to battle for a point when at Pride Park, home of Derby County, at the weekend, as they look to push the Northern Premier title race on as long as possible, meanwhile, in Division One, Notts County boosted their hopes of beating relegation with a big win at home to Leek Town.

At Pride Park the East Midlands pairing were deadlocked at the break, the visiting Reds creating a number of changes during the opening twenty minutes or so, home shot-stopper Sarah Morgan keeping them at bay.

The hosts’ best chance of the first half came as captain Amy Sims was inches away from tapping home a lopped free-kick by former Red, Charlotte Steggles, but Emily Batty, the Reds’ number one, was quick off the mark to prevent the ball passing her.

Goalless at the interval, the breakthrough arrived immediately after the restart when the hosts went one-nil up; Sims played the ball over the visiting defence to Eleanor Ashton who proceeded to pull the ball back into the box with Rebecca May beating Batty to the ball to tap home the opener.

The goal breathed new life into the Ewes and they’d have several chances in the immediacy of the opener, O’Connor with the best of them, shooting over five minutes later; the Reds though, they equalised with twenty-five minutes remaining.

A burst down the right from Sophie Domingo, and a pass to Charlotte Greengrass, saw the Forest striker shoot for goal, her effort taking an unfortunate deflection off a home defender and into the net to tie the game at ones apiece.

With the game ticking towards its conclusion, and stoppage time, Davies’ took the opportunity to introduce recent signing, Lauren McMurchie, for her Reds debut, coming on for Holly Manders; it was a case of two points lost though for Forest as they continue to chase down leaders Newcastle United.

Although holding two games in hand on the leaders, Forest are fourteen points adrift in second place (Derby sit sixth); with four games to play, the Reds travel to Stourbridge next (7 April), before trips to Huddersfield Town and rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, finishing the campaign in early May when home to Stoke City.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST – Emily Batty, Lyndsey Harkin, Natalie Johnson, Sophie Domingo, Holly Manders (Lauren McMurchie, 90), Louanne Worsey (Mai Moncaster, 90), Mollie Green, Freya Thomas, Becky Anderson, Charlotte Greengrass

Meanwhile, in Division One Midlands, the other Nottingham club, Notts County, have been fighting a tough battle at the foot of the table all season, and hosted fellow relegation candidates, Leek Town, at the weekend.

A big three points for County, courtesy of a brilliant hat-trick by striker Takiah Burnett, two of which arrived either side of the interval after the visitors had opened the scoring after thirty-five minutes.

Burnett then proceeded to add her third, and wrap up the three points, with her hat-trick goal ten minutes from time to move County two points ahead of their opponents, and five points clear of the drop-zone with three games remaining.

NOTTS COUNTY – Pip Davies, Mollie Crump, Holly Fowler, Nya Chambers, Nikki Emery, Lauren Wilshaw, Jessie Knott, Shoniqua Barnes, Emily Stretton, Summer Reece, Takiah Burnett

In the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League Premier Division, leaders Lincoln United are on the verge of the title, and promotion, to the National League, whilst Andi Bell’s Mansfield Town are within two points of third place Rotherham United after they eased to a 4-0 home win over Ilkeston Town, now two points and one place above them in the table.

Mansfield scored twice in each half to claim the three points, Grace Shipman affording them an interval lead with a first half double; further goals were added in the second as Olivia Wheatcroft and Chloe Hutsby both found the net also.

Basford United meanwhile shipped four goals when they were beat 4-1 at Dunton & Broughton, substitute Louise Argou with the visitors’ second half consolation effort; of the other Notts clubs in action, across Division One, Sarah Brwon would bag a hat-trick as NTU were beaten 3-1 off visitors Asfordby in the Central Division, and Sherwood defeated visitors Sandiacre Town 2-0.

As for D1 North, SJR Worksop are still pushing themselves for a title/promotion success as they, and Dronfield Town, have three games in hand on leaders Gainsborough Trinity, Worksop just six off the leaders following their weekend, 4-1 victory at third-bottom Skegness Town with Lily Brown netting twice alongside goals from Emily Myatt and Emily Murphy.

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFCWomen Charlotte Greengrass celebrates her thirteenth Forest goal of the season.

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