Nottingham Forest opened their league campaign in style on Sunday afternoon as they comfortably beat Bradford City 3-0 at home.
The game saw five players make their starting debuts for The Reds but there were two familiar faces on the scoresheet in the form of Charlotte Griffin and Amy Dicken before all three points were sealed by new singing Georgia Hewitt who had made the switch across the East Midlands from Derby County.
The Reds started the game impressively and quickly earned a corner inside the first minute through some good work from Katie Middleton. Grace Walters put a strong ball inside the crowded penalty area but Chelsea Coles punched it to safety.
Sammy Conroy picked up from where she left off last season as she played a precise long ball over the heads of the Bradford defence and into the path of Dicken but her first-time shot was blocked by Demi Wisher.
Conroy rose highest to meet a Walters’ free-kick and was inches away from opening the scoring but her effort came bouncing back off the post and Bradford cleared the ball to safety.
The Reds ended the first half on top as they had three opportunities in the final minutes to take the lead. The first fell to Hewitt but her drilled effort from the edge of the box was gathered by Coles.
Another corner from Walters saw her play it short to Dicken who crossed the ball into the box. It went soaring past a helpless Coles and landed at Griffin’s feet but she failed to connect well with it and her shot was wide.
Griffin made no mistake with her second effort as she opened Forest’s account in the 57th minute. Walters’ dangerous set-pieces proved crucial for the hosts as Bradford failed to clear her corner and Griffin pounced on the loose ball and smashed it into the net.
The Reds were awarded a penalty in the 76th minute after substitute Adam was hacked down in the area by Bradford captain Harriet Jakeman. Jakeman was given a yellow card for her hasty challenge and Dicken coolly stepped up and slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
Hewitt sealed the three points for Forest and marked her impressive debut with a goal in the 79th minute. The Reds broke quickly and outnumbered the Bradford defence and Constantinou slipped the ball through to Hewitt who ran away with the ball.
Coles came out to try and clear the ball from the feet of Hewitt but the winger bounced it off the legs of the goalkeeper, rounded her and saw her shot from 19 yards out cross the line.
Forest: Thomas, Dicken, Harkin (c), Conroy, Walters, Griffin, Sanderson (Adam 46’), Lee (Rowson 81’), Constantinou, Hewitt, Middleton
Unused subs: Hallam, Robinson
Goals: Griffin 58’, Dicken 82’, Hewitt 84’
Bradford: Coles, Roberts, Jakeman, Node, Wisher, Moulden, Wright (Shuttleworth 50’), Gill, Taylor, Payton (Omboyl 82’), Lambert (Stabb 82’)
Unused subs: Walton
Bookings: Jakeman 76’