It was the final game day of 2020 in the FAWNL Northern Premier League and Nottingham Forest were hosting WBA Women at Eastwood CFC. After the opposite game on the opening day of the season and a 2-2 draw, it was always going to a tough and well-fought game. One of the games that survived the weather to get underway.
Nottingham Forest came out the blocks the fastest with Rosie Axten trying to break in behind the backline early on. But both teams were trying to find a footing in the game with both creating until the final third. Rosie Axten was always a threat up-front with an effort that called Poppy Bastock into action in the WBA goal. After an even start to the game Nottingham Forest were starting to make some headway but the WBA defence of Ria Elsmore, Hannah Baines and Emily Owen were standing strong. Rosie Axten and Katie Middleton had efforts before the ball was put behind for a corner.
Aja Aguirre was called into making her first stop of the game when Leigh Dugmore hit a ball into the box and danger zone, but WBA were starting to show they could open the scoring as they started to try and get forward. But it was Nottingham Forest who opened the scoring when a ball was pumped into the box and it fell to Hayley James at the far post to drive the ball home to give Nottingham Forest the 1-0 lead on the 39th minute. The first half came to an end with Nottingham Forest going into the lead and all to play for in the second half.
It was Poppy Bastock that was called into action early in the second half when Rosie Axten had the shot but the effort was saved. Jade Arber used her pace to get in behind the Forest defence and was one on one with the keeper and just as you expected it to become 1-1, Aja Aguirre did well to stop the effort from finding the back of the net. It was now an open game with Nottingham Forest once again making Poppy Bastock pull off a great save from Annabel McKechnie. On the 56th minute the scores were level when a deep free-kick saw Lyndsey Harkin was unlucky to see her touch hit the back of the net making it 1-1.
It was Rosie Axten on the hour mark who took aim and curled the effort towards the top corner but it went agonizingly close to nestling into the top corner, but a fantastic effort from Axten. But less than 5 minutes later it was West Brom who took the lead against the run of play. A goal directly from the corner by Hannah George saw The Baggies take a 1-2 lead with 25 minutes left on the clock. Katie Middleton was working hard on the wing to try and get Forest forward and pull Forest back level.
Nottingham Forest was trying to force the game to pull back on level terms, Charlotte Steggles had an effort but couldn’t connect as Poppy Bastock swallowed up the effort. Forest were on top as expected in the final minutes of the game while WBA tried to hold onto and protect the lead. Ria Elsmore and Hannah Baines were stand out’s for Louis Sowe’s team at the back. No matter what Nottingham Forest tried to throw at WBA in the final stages of the game, WBA dealt with it very well and walked away with the 1-2 victory after coming from behind to get the victory. Bex Rayner was a big plus in the final minutes but didn’t have enough time to influence the game from the bench.
Nottingham Forest: Aja Aguirre, Hayley James, Rachel Brown, Charlotte Greengrass, Lyndsey Harkin, Lucy Johnson, Annabel McKechnie, Sydnie Naylor, Charlotte Steggles, Katie Middleton, Rosie Axten.
Subs – Bex Rayner for Annabel McKechnie (73), Poppy Schofield for Katie Middleton (73), Mai Moncaster for Charlotte Steggles (90).
WBA: Poppy Bastock, Shannon Stamps, Hannah Baines, Emily Owen, Ria Elsmore, Hannah George, Trina Greaves, Nicole Nymoen, Leigh Dugmore, Keeley Davies, Jade Arber.
Subs – Evie Gallop for Shannon Stamps (70), Alima Abdallah for Jade Arber (82).