It's the big East Midlands derby on Sunday afternoon as Nottingham Forest welcome rivals Derby County to Eastwood CFC.
The Reds are seeking revenge for their 1-0 defeat at Pride Park in the reverse fixture in a game where Forest deserved to walk away with a point. Derby's Amy Sims handed her side the win on the stroke of half-time as she rose highest to meet a corner and guided her header into the Forest net.
Forest come into the game having not been in action for 10 days since a 1-1 draw with Stoke City. Katie Middleton put The Reds ahead but it was late heartbreak as Roisin Kivel levelled the scoring in the third minute of added time to force Forest to settle for a point, the least of what they deserved.
Derby have enjoyed a successful run of results this season which has seen the side rocket to third place in the FA WNL League North. Most recently the Ewe Rams comfortably beat Yorkshire side Guiseley Vixens 4-1 last Sunday. Four goals in the first half saw the Ewe Rams cruise into the second half with a 3-1 advantage. Sims then wrapped up all the three points in the second half as she secured her brace and a 4-1 win.
Sims has proven herself as a player to watch come Sunday as the full back is known for goal scoring threat. Along with netting a brace last weekend and a goal against the Reds six months ago the wing back has also found the back of the net two previous times this season. Sims also played a key part for the Ewe Rams last season when they defeated the Reds 3-2 at their home as she netted the goal to spark the comeback for her side.
Another key player for the Rams that the Reds will be prepared to be wary of is striker Cara Newton. Newton has picked up 10 goals in 19 appearances across all competitions this season, leaving her as the side’s joint top scorer alongside former Red, Andi Bell.
The fixture will also see the return of familiar faces for both sides. Lauren Cresswell made a short stay as a Red at the start of the season as she made three appearances for the side before making to switch to Derby.
Georgia Hewitt will also be no stranger to the Derby side as she has played two stints for the Ewe Rams, with the most recent one only being last season. After spending the 2017-18 season with Derby the full back then made the move across the East Midlands to wear the Garibaldi Red instead. Hewitt has made 18 appearances for the Reds so far, this campaign and netted her first goal for side on her debut last August. Shannon Weston is also a former Ewe Ram as she played for the Derby side alongside Hewitt only last season. Weston is a fresh face in the Forest side for the second half of the season, only making two appearances so far. Weston will be looking to retain her spot in the side’s starting 11 and build on her impressive performance from last week against Stoke.
Both Katie Middleton and Ashleigh Edwards can reach double figures in their goal scoring tally on Sunday as both currently sit with six goals across all competitions. Both only aged 17 and both playing in their debut season for the Forest senior side both hitting the 10-goal mark would be a fantastic achievement for the two youngsters.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, manager Alena Moulton said: “We’ll have a game plan, we’ll make sure we work on it at training. Us coaches will also make sure we go into detail from what we want from the girls and make sure they take it on board and execute it.”