Nottingham Forest produced another superb team performance on Sunday afternoon as they defeated Huddersfield Town 2-1 at Eastwood CFC.
Two first half penalties from inform striker, Precious Hamilton, were enough for The Reds as they defended well in the second half to ensure Lucy Sowerby’s 64th minute consolation goal was all her side would get.
Forest started the game brightly and had plenty of opportunities to grab the opening goal. Olivia Cook glanced her header just over the target as she connected with a corner kick from Bex Rayner and moments later Hamilton saw her effort fly just over the target.
Bolu Fisher made her first league start for the club and created herself a golden opportunity to also etch her first goal in Garibaldi. A sublime touch from the forward saw her turn away from her marker and move into the box but her shot was too powerful as it soared over the goal.
Sophie Walton and Katie Middleton lined-up next for The Reds in front of goal as they both went searching for their firsts of the season. Walton’s first-time looping effort looked to be sneaking in under the cross bar but the ‘keeper rose high to collect the ball. Middleton then saw her effort come crashing back of the cross-bar minutes later as she blasted a shot from distance.
The Reds got the opener they had been searching for on the 26th minute as Hamilton tucked away a penalty kick. Middleton had been brought down in the area and Hamilton remained composed as always in front of goal as she buried her effort in the bottom left-hand corner.
The referee pointed to the spot again only seven minutes later as Rayner was hacked down inside the area. Hamilton, with ice in her veins, smashed another penalty kick past the helpless ‘keeper to bag her 10th goal of the season.
Fisher ensured her side headed into the break with a clean sheet as she pulled of a brilliant goal-line clearance a minute into stoppage time as a corner-kick bounced of Lyndsey Harkin and went flying towards the Forest goal.
Forest came out searching to extend their lead in the second half as they wanted to add a third. Rayner embarked on one of her mazey runs past the opposition shirts and into the box but her low shot bounced just wide of the target.
Sowerby pulled one back for Huddersfield on the 64th minute as Forest endured a nervy end to the game. The Yorkshire side broke quickly into the Forest half just after a mass of red shirts claimed for handball as Huddersfield won back the ball. They then got behind The Reds’ defence and Sowerby was on hand inside the box to head home a well-placed cross from her teammate.
Aja Aguirre was relied upon heavily in the final stages of the game as Huddersfield pressed heavily for a late equaliser. But the Forest shot-stopper was on fine form between the sticks as she pulled off a great save to get down and deny Sowerby a second headed effort.
Izzy Dalton came agonisingly close to sealing the win for The Reds on the 84th minute as she broke free into the Huddersfield box but her shot somehow evaded the target and flew wide of the goal.
Mai Moncaster was introduced as a second-half substitute to make her Forest debut and also came marginally close to adding the side’s third of the game. Moncaster picked up a pass from Hamilton inside the box and placed her shot under the ‘keeper but the offside flag was raised on the midfielder in the build-up.
But a third goal wasn’t needed for The Reds as the final whistle was blown deep into stoppage to ensure Forest picked up a third consecutive victory on a damp day in Nottingham.
Forest: Aguirre, Dalton, Harkin, Cook, Hewitt, Walton, Tudor, Middleton (Moncaster 78’), Rayner, Fisher (Dexter 88’), Hamilton (Casper 90')
Subs not used: Davies, Bennett
Goals: Hamilton 26’, 33’
Huddersfield: Joyce, Stanfield, Mallin, Abbott, Griffiths, Nutter (Danby 71’), Harris (Legge 85’), Sowerby, Marshall, Embley, White (Taylor 90')
Subs not used: Newsham,
Bookings: Griffiths 71’, Abbott 82’ (sin-bin)
Goal: Sowerby 64’