Andy Cook was delighted to see his Nottingham Forest side progress through to the semi-finals of the Nottinghamshire County Cup on Sunday afternoon despite the difficult pitch conditions.
Speaking after the game he said: “I’m delighted with the victory. I think the pitch conditions made for a tricky afternoon for us and both teams but we managed to battle.
“The last five or six minutes of the second-half we managed to get a few goals which helped settle us going into half-time.”
Cook was further impressed to see three of his Reds get off the mark for the season as Katie Middleton, Aimee Hickingbotham and Sophie Bonser all netted their firsts of the campaign. Middleton furthered her tally with a second goal as the side cruised to a 6-0 victory over Notts County development.
“As a team, we’ve given Katie (Middleton) a bit of banter in training for the fact she hasn’t scored yet as we wanted to motivate her to get off the mark,” Cook light-heartedly explained.
“But today she had her chances and she took them which is fantastic.
“The first one may not have been one she had dreamt of scoring but they all count so it’s great for her going forward.
“As well as the other two that got off the mark, Aimee took hers really well.”
As well as netting a brace during the cup tie Middleton was also given the duty of leading the side out by Cook as she was made captain for the first time in her career. Cook explained why he knew his 17-year-old forward was the right choice to wear the armband.
He said: “We had spoken about it a week before on who we could make captain as we knew Lyndsey (Harkin) wouldn’t start.
“Katie’s name was put forward as she has been at the club for years and knows it inside and out and it gives her that responsibility she needed.
“She’s a young player but she has the knowledge of the club and the respect of the players and she showed all of that before the game in the changing room.”
The win saw Forest collect their sixth consecutive victory and Cook believes that this momentum will be key going into Sunday’s FA Cup tie with local rivals Derby County.
“It’s huge and it builds momentum. That momentum is what drives us forward and gets us motivated for any fixture,” Cook said.
“We want to advance into the next round of the cup but we all know it will be an extremely difficult test against Derby because of the rivalry around it.
“The men have recently done well against Derby and we want to match that.
“Ultimately we want to advance through into the next round and playing in the FA Cup is fantastic and we want to get as far as we can.”