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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

1-2
14 February 2019 Venue Sheffield FC Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

Sheffield FC
1 - 2
Nottingham Forest

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Match Previews

Match preview: Sheffield FC vs Nottingham Forest

13 February 2019

Nottingham Forest have a Valentine’s date at Sheffield FC on Thursday evening as The Reds look to make it two wins on the bounce in the FAWNL North.

The Reds will also look to go five games unbeaten across all competitions and come into the fixture of the back of a 2-0 win over Bradford last Sunday.

A second half brace from Ashleigh Edwards against the Yorkshire outfit last week was enough to give her side a well-deserved three points. The wind proved to be enemy for Forest in the first half as plenty of their crucial shots soared over goal. But the deadlock was finally broken on the 64th minute as Edwards looped the ball over the helpless ‘keeper from the edge of the box. Edwards then grabbed her second and doubled Forest’s lead 12 minutes later as she neatly slotted her shot under the ‘keeper.

The Reds have already faced up to Sheffield twice so far, this season in both the league and the FA Cup. Forest narrowly lost out to the Yorkshire side at home back in September in a 2-1 loss. The opposition opened the scoring through Ellie White after 19 minutes but Sophia Bonser drew the Reds level with a brilliant long ranged strike in the second half. But the Reds were left with nothing to show for their hard-fought effort as White grabbed her second and the win for her side in the 84th minute.

The Reds successfully avenged the result last December in the FA Cup which saw the side complete a terrific comeback. Forest went into half time of the game 2-1 down, Edwards had drawn her side level on the 30th minute after the home side opened the scoring after only five minutes of game time. But the Reds had a feat to climb in the second half after Sheffield restored their lead on the 30th minute. But Forest came out in fighting form and secured their place in the next round. Edwards drew the Reds level for a second time on the 74thminute with a superb chipped effort from the edge of the box and then put her side ahead for the first time that afternoon in dramatic fashion on the 81st minute. The forward weaved her way through several Sheffield players on the far edge of the penalty area before curling a shot from a tight angle that slotted itself into the top right-hand corner of the goal.

Sheffield come into Thursday’s fixture of the back of three straight defeats across all competitions, most recently losing 4-2 away to Blackburn Rovers over two weeks ago. However, the side will be looking to return to winning ways and the Reds will most importantly be wary of forward Lisa Giampalma who has netted six league goals so far, this campaign and she will be searching to add to her tally on Thursday evening. The Reds defence will also have the job of keeping Ellie White quiet, who has successfully found the back of the net five times in the league this season, two of which and a FA Cup goal have come against Forest.

 But the Sheffield defence will equally be looking to stop Ashleigh Edwards who is back in fine form after securing the three points last weekend for the Reds. The young forward has netted eight goals across all competitions so far, this campaign after only joining the side four months ago and will be eager to face up against the Sheffield side and add to her tally.

Grace Walters may also return to the side for the fixture after serving her one match ban. The defender received a straight red card two weeks ago in a 1-1 draw against Doncaster Rovers Belles and will be looking to return to the starting 11 and help her side secure a second consecutive victory.

Nottingham Forest Assistant Manager, Alena Moulton looked ahead to Thursday’s fixture and explained, “It’ll be a difficult game but we’ll be ready. We’ll prepare for the match like we always prepare each week and make sure we are in our best shape possible for the game.”

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Match Reports

Sheffield FC 1-2 Nottingham Forest

15 February 2019

Nottingham Forest made it five games unbeaten on Thursday night with an impressive 2-1 victory at Sheffield FC.

Katie Middleton produced a stellar performance for The Reds as she contributed two assists as Aimee Hickingbotham and Ashleigh Edwards fired Forest to their second win in four days.

The home side started the game brightly and forced Forest into some early defending. Emma Johnson rifled a shot from outside the area but Lyndsey Harkin remained firm in defence as she put in a strong block to deflect the effort wide. 

The Forest defence was on hand again inside the opening 15 minutes of the game as Sheffield continued to pile on the early pressure Lisa Giampalma fed a good pass through to the feet of Rhema Lord-Mears who ran at the Forest box and ripped a shot from the edge of the area but Kelly Darby got in the way to deflect the shot wide. 

Middleton then began to grow in to the game and gave the home side early signs of the danger they would have to deal with as she did superbly well to chase down a loose ball deep inside the final third. Middleton picked up the ball, beat her marker and drilled a low cross into the box but the ball was cleared just before Edwards could get her shot away.

The Reds were gifted a golden opportunity to go ahead on the 25th minute as they were awarded a penalty after Middleton was hacked down from behind inside the box. Last week’s double goal scorer, Edwards stepped up to take the spot kick but she blasted her effort wide of the goal. 

But the missed penalty didn’t halter Forest’s threat as they went 1-0 up only four minutes later as Hickingbotham recorded her first goal for the club. Middleton did brilliantly for her side as she charged through the Sheffield half and skipped past several red shirts with ease before she slipped a perfect pass to Hickingbotham across the edge of the box who took a touch and lifted a shot over the ‘keeper.

The Reds picked up from where they left off in the second half and doubled their lead on the 51st minute. Middleton was heavily involved for The Reds again as she picked up the ball and glided into the Sheffiled box, her first two initial shots were well blocked on the line but fortunately Edwards was on hand to poke the ball over the line to ensure her side went 2-0 up.

After knocking up two assists Middleton began her search for a deserved goal of her own and came close. The young forward created some room inside the home side’s box and got a shot off but it was straight at the ‘keeper who made the routine save.

It was a nervy final six minutes for The Reds as Sheffield grabbed a goal back. Forest failed to clear their lines and Lord-Mears hit a first-time effort just inside the box that rolled underneath Thomas but The Reds remained focused for the closing stages of the game and picked up their second league win in four days. 

Forest: Thomas, Wilson, Harkin, Walters, Darby (c), Griffin (Constantinou 68’), Conroy (Sullivan 77’), Greaves, Hickingbotham, Edwards (Emery 72’), Middleton

Subs not used: Hallam, Bennett, Hewitt

Goals: Hickingbotham 29’, Edwards 51’

Sheffield: Hobson, Housley (c), Kemp, Hawcroft, Giampalma, Wortley (Clarke 89’), M. Johnson, Neary (Pearson 81’), Tinsley, E. Johnson, Lord-Mears

Subs not used: Butcher, Russell, Clarke, Pearson, Wainwright

Goal: Lord-Mears 84’

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