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Match Reports

Forest Ladies 1-0 Bradford City Women

30 April 2018

Sidney Whitman

Nottingham Forest Ladies earned all three points following a hard-fought encounter against a resilient Bradford City side on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds came away with an important victory after Hazzana Parnell netted her third goal in as many matches to secure a 1-0 win in front of a bumper crowd of 374.

Forest started the game strongly and were on top from the first whistle and they came close to taking the lead. Kelly Darby sent a long free-kick into the box which fell to Natasha Hudson's feet but her shot was weak and the goalkeeper saved with ease.

Another opportunity to take an early advantage arrived within the opening 15 minutes through Parnell. Summer Holmes played a great through-ball beyond the Bradford defence into the path of Parnell and she had the freedom to take a touch and shoot.

Bradford goalkeeper Nat Saunders pulled off the safe and although Leanne Robinson tried her best to slot home the rebound, Saunders reacted quickest to smother the ball.

Forest goalkeeper Rebecca Thomas was called into action as she pulled off three impressive saves within minutes of each other after Bradford had sent shots flying towards goal from outside the box.

The Reds got the breakthrough they were desperately searching for in the 37th minute. Darby was involved in the build-up play once again as she sent a precise long ball from her own half over the heads of the Bradford defence and into the feet of Parnell. The striker was unmarked and, despite Saunders' best efforts, she found the bottom corner from just outside the area.

Thomas pulled off another great save moments later to ensure Forest went into the break in front. Abi Lee's free-kick from outside the box was goal-bound but Thomas rose high to push the ball over the crossbar with her fingertips.

The Reds started the second half with a quick tempo as they searched to double their lead and they very nearly did so. The ball fell to Holmes 20 yards from goal and she hit it on the half-volley but Saunders managed to make the save.

Darby was once again involved in The Reds' attacking forays as she picked up the loose ball in the box from an over-hit cross. The defender turned and had a shot at goal herself but it brushed inches past the far post.

Bradford applied some late pressure as they sought to find an equaliser but it was Forest who came closer to finding the next goal. Holmes sent another free-kick into the box and it was sailing towards the top-right corner but Saunders was able to get up high and turn the ball the around the post.

Forest had fought hard throughout the contest but more than deserved their three points as they secured a spot in the FA Women's Premier League for another season.

Line-Up: Thomas, Wright, Darby (c), Re, Highman, Bennett, Conroy, Holmes, Robinson, Parnell, Hudson

Substitutes: Cullen, Griffin, Dicken, Bate, Kemp

Goal: Parnell 36'

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