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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

07 April 2019 Venue Eastwood Community Football Club Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Nottingham Forest
2 - 5
Blackburn Rovers

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Match Previews

Match preview: Forest vs Blackburn

4 April 2019

Nottingham Forest Ladies welcome newly-crowned FA WNL North champions Blackburn Rovers Ladies on Sunday afternoon as the side look to etch some points on the league table against tough opposition.

The Reds come into the fixture off the back of a 3-1 loss away to Middlesbrough last weekend. Grace Walters had put Forest ahead on the 15th minute as she turned a corner kick from Helena Constantinou past the 'keeper. But the North-East side proved to be the better team over the course of the 90 minutes and sealed all three points with great strikes in the second half.

Rovers lifted their third successive FA WNL North title on Sunday as they defeated Derby County 3-0. It was another deserved league title for the side who have won 18 of their 19 league games so far this season and have netted a whopping 88 goals during the campaign. Saffron Jordan had put her side ahead inside the opening 10 minutes and Sophie Charlton and Jess Holbrook sealed the win in the second half with a strike each.

The side carry a great attacking threat but the two forwards to keep a close eye on come Sunday are Jordan and Natasha Flint. The pair currently sit top of the league's goal scoring charts with 36 and 33 goals respectively across all competitions. The Reds are already familiar with the two forwards with them both scoring in the reverse fixture last November. Jordan netted a second half brace whilst Flint also added to the second-half scoring to secure the win for Rovers.

Rovers were also boosted by the return of 'keeper, Danielle Gibbons on Sunday as she made her return from injury. This will also prove to be another tough task for The Reds to overcome in front of goal as the shot stopper has a wealth of high-level experience, spending six years in the top flight with Liverpool.

But The Reds also carry their own threat in front of goal in the form of Katie Middleton and Ashleigh Edwards. Both 17-year-old forwards currently sit as the side's joint leading goalscorers across all competitions with nine goals apiece and both have begun their hunt to hit double figures.

Constantinou will also be looking to punish Blackburn with her lethal corner kicks. In the previous two Forest games, both of the side's two goals have come from her set pieces. Two weeks ago against Derby County, Constantinou put her side ahead as her corner kick flew through the 'keeper's hand and landed firmly in the back of the net. Then only last week another set piece from her was converted by Walters.

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Match Reports

Forest 2-5 Blackburn Rovers

8 April 2019

The newly crowned league champions, Blackburn Rovers, were forced to come from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 5-2 in front of another impressive crowd in the Red’s last home game of the season, on Sunday afternoon.

It was a game of two halves which saw the Reds go into the break with an impressive 2-0 lead through strikes from Katie Middleton and Precious Hamilton. This was only the second time in the league this season that Rovers were behind at half time. But the visitors showed their quality in the second half as they came out fighting and produced a stellar performance to seal all three points.

The Reds started the game brilliantly and threw Rovers off their game with their great early attacking threat. As well as producing up top Forest also defended superbly which denied the away side any early chances in front of goal.

Forest got their reward for their great start on the 23rd minute as Middleton put her side ahead. Hamilton had caused mayhem along the Rovers' back four as a lack of communications had forced the 'keeper off her line to make a last-ditch clearance. But it was weak from Amelia Size which saw the ball land directly at the feet of Middleton. The Forest forward carried the ball towards the away side's box and fended off several yellow shirts before blasting a thundering effort from the edge of the area and into the back of the net.

The Red's lead was then doubled three minutes later as Hamilton bagged her first goal for Forest. A corner kick came flying into the Rovers' box that fell directly into the path of Hamilton who saw her first prodded effort come bouncing back of the goal post. But she made no mistake on her rebound effort as she poked her second shot past the 'keeper to give her side a 2-0 lead.

Forest continued to dominate the first half and had another opportunity to extend their lead before the break. Hamilton flicked on a pass through the Rovers' defence which Atkin pounced on to and broke free into the visitor's box but she struggled to get any power behind her shot and the 'keeper got down to make the save.

Aja Aguirre ensured the Reds kept their 2-0 lead heading into the break as she made a series of terrific saves. Saffron Jordan was gifted a perfect opportunity to half the goal score deficit as she went 1v1 with Aguirre, the tricky forward attempted to lift her shot over the Forest shot stopper but Aguirre got down and pulled off the impressive save.

Jordan was then granted two other opportunities minutes later to try bring her side back in the game but her first curling effort flew just wide of the goal and then second came crashing back of the cross bar.

Aguirre came up big for the Reds again on the stroke of half time as Natasha Flint found room in the box and turned and shot but the Forest 'keeper made another great stop.

Rovers came out fighting in the second half as they looked to earn something from the game and hit Forest on the attack from the starting whistle. Alexandra Taylor broke towards the Red's box and hit a shot from just outside the area, Georgia Hewitt blocked the effort and Lyndsey Harkin was on hand to clear away the dangerous lose ball.

But the away side weren't the only ways creating chances in front of goal as the Reds still posed as a threat in the final third. Harkin floated a free kick into the penalty area that Rovers failed to deal with and several Red shirts attempted to divert the ball goal wards, Aimee Hickingbotham had the final punt in front of goal but her shot was blocked away from goal.

Rovers drew themselves level with two quick goals on the 56th and 60th minute. Jordan finally got the goal she had been searching for after she tapped Lagan Makin's low, drilled cross past Aguirre.

Lynda Shepard then drew side level from a spot kick after Hamilton handled the ball inside the Forest box. The Rovers captain smashed her penalty kick past Aguirre.

The league champions then put themselves 3-2 ahead through an unstoppable strike from Flint on the 64th minute. The former England youth international sneakily collected a low corner kick from outside the area that caught the Reds off guard and she rocketed a first-time effort through the box and into the back of the net.

Rovers sealed the win on the 75th minute as Jordan netted her brace. Lauren Davies cut a short pass through the legs of the Reds defence and through to Jordan who lifted a shot over the on-rushing Aguirre.

The afternoon's scoring was rounded off on the 90th minute as substitute Sophie Charlton joined in on the goal scoring action. Fatigue was an enemy for the Reds in the end as they struggled to get back quick enough to stop Charlton from turning a low cross past Aguirre.

Speaking after the game manager, Alena Moulton, shared her thoughts on the team's performance: "The team gave absolutely everything, as always and as expected. In the end, they were a bit gutted but it was an improved performance and score line from the reverse fixture earlier in the season."

Forest: Aguirre, Wilson, Harkin ( c ), Walters, Hewitt, Weston, Bennett, Hickingbotham (Edwards 65'), Middleton (Constantinou 70'), Hamilton (Bonser 83'), Atkin

Unused Subs: Davies, Reek

Goals: Middleton (23'), Hamilton (26')

Booking: Hamilton (59')

Blackburn: Size, Jukes, Taylor (Davies 70'), Shepard ( c ), Holbrook, Fenton, Jordan, Flint (Charlton 74'), Makin, McDonald, Fletcher

Goals: Jordan (56', 75'), Shepard (60'), Flint (64'), Charlton (90')

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