NTU Gain Promotion

There may have been agonising defeats in the FA Women’s National League for both Nottingham Forest and Notts County on Sunday, but further down the women’s football pyramid, there was joy for several of the Nottinghamshire clubs, especially in Division One of the East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League.

Division One Central witnessed the continued rise of Nottingham Trent University, who lifted the title following an emphatic, 5-0 win, away to bottom-of-the-table Sandiacre Town, and with second place Arnold Eagles only able to finish on 34 points, that’ll be two shy of NTUs total.

The five-goal blitz from the University saw another goal from record scorer Alice Rogers coming alongside further efforts from Amy Copley, Senna Garcia, Olivia Hemborough, and Abigail Barham, they having gone from Notts Girls & Ladies League, to East Midlands Premier, in five years – add into that the football lost by the pandemic makes the rise more dramatic.

In Division One North meanwhile and SJR Worksop are but a victory away from joining NTU at the EMWRFLs top table, they also winning 5-0 at the weekend.

Hosting Grimsby Borough, a brace from Emily Murphy would help them on their way, she being joined on the score-sheet by goals from Beth Gingell, Rachael Bell, and Lily Brown.

With Dronfield Town facing Lincoln United Development in their last match, Worksop know nothing less than victory in theirs, at home to third-bottom Retford (who lost a twelve-goal game, 8-4, at Dronfield), will suffice if they are to lift silverware, Gainsborough Trinity sandwiched between the two have finished their schedule.

Even in the Premier Division there was victory for Mansfield Town, they looking to finish third; Grace Shipman scored twice as they eased past visitors Grimsby Town 3-0, Amy Pashley also netting.

Back in the National League, Nottingham Forest let slip a three-goal lead, in the Northern Premier, when away to rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, losing 4-3 after the hosts netted twice at the death.

Leading 2-0 at the break, through goals from Louanne Worsey and Sophie Domingo, it looked like the three points were wrapped up before the hour mark when Holly Manders bagged her fifteenth of the season.

Then came the comeback of comebacks; Amber Hughes grabbed one minutes after the Reds had gone three-up, then ten minutes later Beth Merrick grabbed a second and the Wolves were snapping.

The score was still 3-2 to the Forest heading into stoppage time however, a dramatic equaliser from Olivia Fergusson, and a stoppage time winner from Merrick, her second of the game, completed the remarkable turnaround.

As for County, in Division One Midlands, they welcomed Lincoln City to Meadow Lane but found themselves three goals down at the break thanks to Jemima Footitt, Neve Hincks and Lucy Farrow; County pulled one back through Lauren Wilshaw early in the second but the hosts failed to capitalise.

Mansfield Town Development meanwhile will have a big say in the destination of the NGL Seniors One title, and they’ll also contest the Seniors Plate after winning their semi-final, 5-0, at home to Hucknall Town, Bethany Jones with a brace for the victors.

In the league though, Arnold Eagles Flyers will win the title with victory (or a draw) at Mansfield in their last game, however, defeat and a big swing in goals can play into the hands of NTU Pink, who drew 2-2 at home to Radcliffe Olympic at the weekend, and need wins at Hucknall, then hosting Mansfield early next month, to snatch the trophy – the goal-difference, that’s currently on eleven (Flyers +28 to NTUs +17).

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NTUWFC the class of 2024 NTU’s promotion gaining team.

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