Nottingham Forest will look to get back to winning ways when they entertain Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon.
This is the first time these two sides have met this season and The Reds will also be hoping to attract another impressive crowd after seeing their home attendance rise since moving to their new home at Eastwood CFC.
Forest’s five-game unbeaten streak came to an end last Sunday as they were beaten 3-1 by Guiseley Vixens. The Reds opened the scoring through an unlikely source in the form of their goalkeeper. Forest were awarded a penalty after Sarah Brown was brought down in the box and with the side missing their last three spot-kicks, manager Graham Abercrombie called upon goalkeeper Rebecca Thomas to take the penalty and she found the back of the net.
The Vixens took control of the game though and drew level as Alarna Fuller grabbed her first goal of the afternoon with a close-range effort. Fuller then put her side ahead with a neat header before The Vixens sealed all three points just before the hour mark with a terrific goal as Kristie Hunter rocketed a half-volley past Thomas.
Middlesbrough currently sit seventh in the FAWNL North and are seven points ahead of Forest having played one game more and come into Sunday’s fixture off the back of an 8-1 victory against Bradford City. Three first-half goals and five in the second secured the victory for Boro against bottom of the table Bradford but that was their first win in four weeks as they had suffered three losses and a draw previously.
The Reds will be wary of Boro’s attacking threat on Sunday as the visitors have found the back of the net 56 times across all competitions so far this season, with 31 of them goals coming from only four players. Forward Tyler Dodds has endured a successful season so far having netted 10 times across all completions and the skipper will be looking to add to her tally on Sunday. Emily Scarr, who found the back of the net four times against Forest last season, also sits on 10 goals this year and will be a potential threat on Sunday.
The Reds were bolstered by the return of Summer Holmes last weekend and she may make her first league start of the season on Sunday. Holmes featured as a substitute in last week’s loss, earning her first minutes of the season after she had a fought her way back from injury. The midfielder was a key player for Forest last season and will be looking to making an instant impact in the remaining months of the season.
Amy Dicken may also make her first league started since the beginning of December after missing the past 12 weeks’ worth of games. Dicken was an integral part of the Forest side in the first half of the season, scoring three goals whilst featuring in both defence and the midfield for the team.
Key defender Grace Walters spoke ahead of Sunday’s clash with Middlesbrough and explained: “We’ve been working really hard this week in training and were looking to improve on that and hopefully get the three points from this week’s game.”