Nottingham Forest Women notched up a valuable 90 minutes of playing time on Sunday afternoon as the side fell to a 3-1 defeat to the hands of Ipswich Town in their first pre-season match up.
Sophie, Tudor, Sophie Walton, Laura Dexter and Olivia Cook all made their club debuts in the side’s first outing of the season whilst Dexter also netted a late consolation goal for the team.
The Reds took control of the game from the starting whistle and enjoyed a dominating opening 20 minutes of the match. Forest’s attacking front three linked up well in the beginning stages of the game and a well-timed short pass from Aimee Hickingbotham through to Precious Hamilton gifted the forward the space to carve open a cross. Hamilton squared a hard pass along the Ipswich 18-yard box searching for Katie Middleton but the Tractor girls defended well and blocked the ball away for a corner kick.
Middleton should’ve put the Reds ahead on the sixth minute as she went one-on-one with the ‘keeper. Middleton latched onto the end of a high through ball and she took the ball away from her marker and drew the Ipswich shot-stopper off her line but she could only place her shot wide.
Forest continued to solidify their attack and Hamilton was up next to take aim at goal. Hamilton created some room on the edge of the Ipswich penalty box and drilled a shot towards goal but the forward struggled to generate any power behind her effort and it rolled wide.
After an influx of changes for the Reds after 30 minutes of play Ashleigh Edwards was introduced to the fold and she made an instant impact. After picking up a through ball over in Ipswich’s final third Edwards looked up to hit a shot on goal but she failed to create some space and get any power behind her effort and the ‘keeper made the easy save.
Despite a dominating first half performance from the Reds they went into the break trailing as the Tractor girls went ahead on the 39th minute. Eloise King slotted a high shot over the head of Aja Aguirre in between the Forest goal to give her side the lead.
Ipswich doubled their lead early into the second half as they went 2-0 ahead on the 55th minute. Lucy Egan brought down a great cross for her side and Trialist A was on hand for the away side to smash an effort past Aguirre.
Six minutes later Ipswich added their third and final goal of the game as Aimee Stretch tapped home a corner kick at the near post.
Middleton came close to clawing back a goal for the Reds on the 83rd minute as the side went on the search for a goal. Similar to her chance in the first half of the game Middleton charged into the away side’s box and faced up one-to-one with the ‘keeper. This opportunity she kept her effort on target but the ‘keeper pushed the effort wide with an outstretched save.
The Reds got their late consolation they had been searching for on the 87th minute as Dexter netted her first in Garibaldi Red. After a great combination of passes from the Forest backline through to the Ipswich final third, Georgia Hewitt whipped a perfect cross into the box that met Dexter. Dexter flashed impressive skill as she flicked the ball over the head of the Ipswich defender and rocketed an effort into the back of the net.
Forest first half: Aguirre, Hewitt (Wilson 32’), Harkin ( c ) (Cook 32’), Tudor, Walters, Bennett, Walton, Sullivan (Trialist 32’), Hamilton, Hickingbotham (Dexter 32’), Middleton (Edwards 32’)
Forest second half: Aguirre, Wilson (Hewitt 62’), Cook, Tudor (Harkin 62’), Walters, Bennett (Hickingbotham 62’), Walton, Trialist, Hamilton (Middleton 62’), Dexter, Edwards
Unused Subs: Davies
Goal: Dexter (87’)