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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

20 September 2020 Venue Sutton Coldfield Town FC Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

West Bromwich Albion
2 - 2
Nottingham Forest

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Match Previews

Match preview: West Bromwich Albion vs Nottingham Forest

18 September 2020

Redtree Photography

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.

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Match Reports

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Forest

21 September 2020

Redtree Photography

Nottingham Forest picked up a point in their opening game of the season on Sunday afternoon as they battled to earn a 2-2 draw away to West Bromwich Albion.

Laura-Jayne O’Neill bagged her first goal for The Reds for the first time since the 2013-14 season as she drew Forest level following Keeley Davies’ opener. Georgia Hewitt then pounced on a mistake from the ‘keeper as she put Forest ahead four minutes into the second-half but Leigh Dugmore ensured the spoils would be shared as she buried home a penalty for The Baggies on the 82nd minute to tie up the game 2-2.

Andy Cook handed Charlotte Greengrass, Lucy Johnson and Rosie Axten their official Forest starts as Rachel Brown also came off the bench to make her debut. Charlotte Steggles also made her first appearance for the first-team after moving up from the club’s reserves side during the summer. 

West Brom took the lead early on in the game as they opened the scoring on the 11th minute. A weak goal-kick from Aja Aguirre allowed Davies to pick up the ball inside the final third before she teed up a shot from distance. Her low-driven effort slipped underneath the body of Aguirre and found the back of the net. 

Mai Moncaster came extremely close to drawing The Reds level only two minutes later but her first-time shot from just outside the box came bouncing back off the goal-post.

Forest got the leveller they had been searching for on the 28th minute as O’Neill scored on her first competitive league start since March 2018. A corner-kick from Bex Rayner fell to O’Neill at the back post and the defender fired the ball home to make it 1-1.

Axten had an opportunity to put Forest ahead before the break minutes later as she hit a shot from 20-yards out but the ‘keeper made the stop to deny the forward. 

Forest went ahead on the 49th minute as Hewitt netted her first league goal in two years. Axten slipped a pass through the home side’s defence and into the box looking for Hewitt but the ‘keeper was quick off her line in attempt the safely smother the ball. But Poppy Bastock failed to keep hold of the ball and Hewitt was on hand to steal it back and tapped it over the line to give The Reds the lead.

Johnson stepped up to take a shot for Forest next on the 71st minute as the side went searching to extend their lead. The full-back curled a low effort towards goal from distance but the ‘keeper got down to deny the young Red. 

Hewitt came marginally close to securing her brace eight minutes later as her and Rayner linked up again in the final third. Rayner sliced another great pass through the defence and into the feet of Hewitt in the box but this time she could only roll her shot just wide of the target. 

The Baggies drew level eight minutes from time as they made it 2-2 from the penalty spot. Aguirre brought down Dugmore in the box and the referee point to spot. Dugmore got back up on her feet and smashed the ball into the back of the net to wrap up the game’s scoring and to earn her side a point. 

Forest: Aguirre, Greengrass, Harkin (c), O’Neill (Brown 57’), Hewitt (McKechnie 86’), Johnson, Steggles, Moncaster (Naylor 78’), Tudor, Rayner, Axten 

Subs not used: Scholefield, Middleton 

Goals: O’Neill 28’, Hewitt 49’ 

West Bromwich Albion: Bastock, Vincze (Harper 67’), Elsmore, Baines, George, Orthodoxou, Davies, Dugmore, Murray (Gallop 77’), Stamps, Arber 

Subs not used: Jewitt, Nymoen, James 

Goals: Davies 11’, Dugmore 82’

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