Nottingham Forest travel to take on West Bromwich Albion on Sunday afternoon as they get their 2020-21 FA Women’s National League North season underway.
It’ll be 186 days since The Reds last took to the field in league action after last season came to a sudden end last March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Forest come into Sunday’s game following a full pre-season campaign in which the side faced five ties against tough opposition across the country. The team picked up three victories from the five games as they fired home plenty of goals. A 3-2 win over Long Eaton United saw them claim their first win, then on their return to Eastwood CFC The Reds secured a 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers before most recently beating Norwich City 3-0 last Sunday.
West Brom faced eight pre-season ties over the summer as they picked up seven victories along the way. The Baggies also proved that they’re no stranger in front of goal as they found the back of the net 32 times in their seven wins and will be hoping to replicate that form on Sunday when facing up to Forest.
But The Reds also showed that they can successfully find the target as they bagged 12 goals across their five games. Bex Rayner picked up from where she left off last season as she netted two fine goals in the side’s two home games. Forest’s new signings also got in on the goal scoring act as four got their first taste of scoring in the Garibaldi. Full-back Lucy Johnson scored two in the team’s two final games and her first was one to remember. Johnson created herself some space outside the box before firing a shot into the far top right of goal.
Johnson and seven other summer signings can potentially make their official Forest debuts on Sunday afternoonafter putting in some impressive shifts during the pre-season fixtures. Poppy Scholefield, Rachel Brown and Niamh Reynolds all also scored their first goals in Forest colours across pre-season and will hoping to officially get off the mark this weekend.
Sunday’s game also marks the start of a big season for the side as they head into the fixture with aims of bettering last season’s points tally. The stats and records from last season will count however league table finishings will not. The Reds recorded their highest point tally since the 2015-16 season with 28 points despite not playing their remaining nine games and the team will be hoping to build on that heavily this season as they look to secure a high finish when the league comes to an end next year.