Nottingham Forest suffered their first defeat since September 2019 on Sunday afternoon as they exited the FA Cup to the hands of Burnley.
Bolu Fisher’s 63rd minute strike wasn’t enough as The Clarets came from behind to net two fortunate goals to condemn The Reds.
Andy Cook made three changes to his starting 11 that last took to the field back in early December as Georgia Hewitt, Ellie Casper and Fisher all came back into the fold. Sydnie Naylor was named on the substitution bench for the first time after she signed for the club last Thursday and came on in the second-half to make her club debut.
It was an even first 45 minutes between the two FA Women’s National League Northern sides but Burnley had the first opportunity in front of goal inside the opening five minutes. Sarah Greenhalgh broke free past the Forest defence and carried the ball towards goal but Lyndsey Harkin recovered well to get back and strongly block her shot on the edge of the box.
After a sluggish start to the afternoon’s action the match sparked to life for the final 10 minutes of the second-half as The Reds were denied by the woodwork twice as they went searching for the opening goal.
Fisher embarked on a brilliant run on the 36th minute after she picked up the ball inside her own half and carried it past several claret and sky blue shirts before curling an effort around the ‘keeper and towards goal from inside the box but her shot came crashing back off the crossbar.
Burnley went knocking minutes later down the opposite end of the field as a cross caused Forest trouble inside their own six-yard box. Harkin cleared the initial cross but The Reds saw the ball come bouncing back off a Burnley player that looked certain to be crossing the goal line but Aja Aguirre pulled off a great save to deny them the chance of getting the game opener.
The woodwork proved to be the enemy again for The Reds after Hamilton found Rayner inside the box with a short cross but her first time close-range effort came agonisingly bouncing back off the crossbar.
Forest had two more golden opportunities in front of goal inside stoppage time as the side headed into the break frustrated to not be ahead. The first fell to Hewitt as her impressive crossed turn shot soared towards the far top hand corner but the ‘keeper pulled off a great save to deny her. The ‘keeper saved her side once again moments later as Hamilton forced her into another terrific save as she fired a shot from the edge of the box.
The Reds got the goal they had been searching for on the 63rd minute as Fisher netted her second for the club. Hamilton did superbly to hold off several Burnley players before turning and drilling a dangerous cross through the box to find Fisher who was on hand to smash it past the ‘keeper.
Hamilton could’ve doubled Forest’s lead eight minute as she flashed her skill just outside the area to create herself some space before getting her shot off but her effort rolled wide of the target.
The home side drew level on the 78th minute as Sarah Agger saw her adventurous cross turned shot fly over Aguirre in goal.
Forest’s impressive run of eight consecutive victories came to an end on the 85th minute as Nicola Worthington netted the winner for her side in unfortunate circumstances. Her free-kick from out wide of the box bounced in of the far post as Sophie Walton’s sliced clearance helped it on its way.
Forest: Aguirre, Hewitt, Harkin ©, Bennett, Bonser, Walton, Tudor (Naylor 85’), Rayner, Hamilton, Fisher (Constantinou 80’), Casper (Moncaster 65’)
Unused subs: Davies, Dexter
Goal: Fisher 63’
Bookings: Bennett 79’
Burnley: Bracewell, Cooper (Rawstron 80’), Owen (Halligan 60’), Worthington, Brown, Bickett (Wilkinson 69’), Agger, Hamer, Priestley, S. Greenhalgh, Wilson
Unused subs: Prescott, Hope, O. Greenhalgh
Goals: Agger 78’, Worthington 85’