Nottingham Forest booked their place in the semi-finals of the Nottinghamshire County Cup on Sunday afternoon as they breezed past Notts County development side with a 6-0 away win.
Katie Middleton bagged herself a goal either side of the half as she got off the mark for the season as well as Aimee Hickingbotham and Sophia Bonser who both also netted their first goal of the campaign. Mai Moncaster and Georgia Hewitt also joined in on the goal scoring action as they grabbed a goal each to score in back-to-back County Cup fixtures.
Andy Cook named a much-changed side for the contest as he made nine changes to his team that recently took to the field two weeks ago in the league. Philipa Davies reclaimed her spot between the sticks and Sianna Bennett, Helen Constantinou, Ellie Casper, Bonser, Moncaster and Hickingbotham also came back into the side as they started their second consecutive County Cup game of the season. Grace Walters made her first appearance for The Reds since last August as she returned back from injury and Middleton was gifted the captain’s armband as the 17-year-old led out the side for the first time.
The Reds dominated the opening stages of the game and took the lead through Middleton on the 12th minute as she saw her shot from inside the box fumbled by the ‘keeper on the goal line and the Notts number one failed to keep out her effort.
Forest were forced to wait for their second of the afternoon as they didn’t double their lead until the 38th minute. Both Hickingbotham and Bonser had become a force down Forest’s left-hand side and the two linked up for the latter’s first of the season. Hickingbotham slipped a pass through to Bonser who charged into the home side’s box before curling an effort over the ‘keeper to make it 2-0.
The floodgates opened for The Reds as Moncaster netted her fourth County Cup goal of the season only four minutes later as her 25+ yards rocketed effort bounced back off the goalpost and in off the ‘keeper.
Hickingbotham put Forest in cruise control minutes later as she ensured the side headed into the break with a four-goal lead. Arguably the best of the afternoon the young forward picked up the ball and weaved her way through the box and past several black and white shirts and rounded of her move with a great finish at the near post.
Sophie Tudor continued to hunt down her first goal in red as she came close in the second-half to making it five for the side. Casper did superbly to flick the ball over the heads of the Notts defence and into the path of Tudor but the ‘keeper got down to save her close-ranged effort.
Moncaster fired another trademark long-ranged strike on the hour mark as she searched for her second of the afternoon and this one looked to be sneaking in under the crossbar but the ‘keeper did well to push the effort over the goal.
Forest continued from where they left off in the second half as Middleton secured her brace on the 66th minute as she guided a header past the ‘keeper after connecting well with a corner-kick from Bonser.
Hewitt completed the scoring on the 71st minute as the full-back played a one-two with Bennett inside the final third before nestling a shot past the ‘keeper and into the bottom left-hand corner of goal.
Forest’s convincing 6-0 victory saw the side collect their sixth consecutive win as they also made it back-to-back unbeaten months across all competitions.
Forest: Davies, Hewitt (Harkin 72’), Walters, Bennett, Bonser, Tudor (Dexter 72’), Moncaster, Constantinou, Middleton (c) (Cook 78’), Hickingbotham, Casper
Subs not used: Aguirre, Fisher
Goals: Middleton 12’ & 66’, Bonser 38’, Moncaster 42’, Hickingbotham 44’, Hewitt 71’