FA Women National League football returns to Eastwood CFC on Sunday as Nottingham Forest welcome Stoke City in their season home opener.
The Reds come into the game hoping to collect their first points of the season after a disappointing first two games to the start of the campaign. Forest got their season underway two weeks ago as they suffered a loss at the hands of Middlesbrough on the road. They then fell victim to an agonising 4-3 loss in the FA Women National Cup to Huddersfield Town last Sunday.
Sunday’s opposition, Stoke, come into the game in much better form after picking up two wins from two outings. The Potters got their season underway in style two weeks ago with a convincing 3-0 win at home over Sheffield. They then progressed into the cup after narrowly beating Lincoln City on penalties.
Stoke added some firepower to their squad over the off-season and bring a serious attacking threat to the league this season. The Reds will be wary of striker, Tasha Baptise, on Sunday who recently joined the West Midlands side from Aston Villa. Baptise has already successfully found the back of the net once this season along with four other of her teammates.
But The Reds possess a dangerous attack of their own that Sunday’s visitors will have to try and tame if they want to take points away from Forest. Precious Hamilton has begun the season in red hot form as she has bagged three goals in two appearances to put her amongst the top scorers in the league. Hamilton has a keen eye for goal and will be looking to punish the Stoke defence on Sunday to add to her season tally.
Both sides met twice in the league last season and Forest walked away the happier of both teams as they earnt a well-deserved four points against The Potters. The Reds stormed to a 3-1 win at home against the side last year where youngsters Helena Constatinou and Katie Middleton both etched their names on the scoresheet. Middleton netted again for Forest in the reverse fixture as the side picked up a point in a 1-1 draw at Stoke. Middleton will be hoping to get off the mark for the season on Sunday and a goal against a side she put two against last season will set her season alight for the rest of the campaign.
New signing Phoebe Warner is available to potentially make her Forest debut on Sunday after she arrived on loan during the week. Warner has dual-signed with The Reds and FA Women Championship side Aston Villa as she arrives to help bolster The Red’s attack. The pacey forward will be hoping to make an immediate effect on the side and will help them search for a home opener victory.