After a 3 week break Notts County Ladies 1st team were back in league action as they welcomed high flying Ruddington Ladies to Church Lane. The two teams met a month ago in the league cup when Notts County nearly made a remarkable come back from being 4-1 down at the break. Notts had to start this game strong with a good tempo and this is just what they did, right from the off Notts were on the attack and continued in this vain for most of the half. Keeper Hazel Clarke was back from what seemed like a long illness and a strong back four of Lauren Jubb, Serena Mason, Susan Cronin and Alex Johnson would make things difficult for the pacey Ruddington strike force. Notts were winning the mid-field tussles with captain Selina Luciw leading by example assisted by Robyn Henton. It was looking like the half-time team talk would consist of despite having all the play we would have nothing to show as chances from Selina went wide and Anna Horton’s header just going the wrong side of the bar. It was on 35 minutes when Courtney Walters won the ball deep in the attacking flank and lifted the ball into the box where the ball bobbled out to the edge of the box for Robyn Henton to smash the ball into the bottom corner 1-0. Notts increased their lead in the final minute of the first period when Robyn’s cross found Alex Johnson on the edge of the penalty box who connected with the ball hitting a sweet volley to burst the back of the net 2-0. It was all smiles at the break but there was still much work to do as Ruddington would not lie down and they would come out strong in the second period. It was only minutes into the final period when Ruddington pulled a goal back with a terrific shot giving the Notts Keeper no chance 2-1. A shell shocked Notts conceded an equaliser with a rare mix up at the back gifting the Ruddington striker a tight angled shot for 2-2. It was looking like the flood gates might be opening but Notts composed themselves and began to keep good possession and were looking to work the ball forward. Wide mid-field player Siobhan Wood due to injury made way for Alex Francis and minutes later Courtney Walters made way for striker Cath Eyely. Notts were back to having good possession and started to find the form of the first period with April Bingham twisting and turning her marker down the left flank. As the game went on Notts were looking the more likely team to find the winner, which almost came as a ball from Alex Francis found Selina with space only for her left footed shot to be screw just wide. Notts other chance came from a cross which connected with Cath’s head and was destined for the back of the net but for a terrific save from the quality Ruddington keeper. With 20 minutes remaining Selina made way for the clubs development player Ellie Marriott making her debut for the 1st team. A slight reshuffle at the back to accommodate Ellie as centre back, with Susan taking up the left back position and Alex Johnson dropping into centre mid-field. The final 15 minutes Notts went looking for the winner as Ruddington were having to drop deep to defend as Notts began to pile on the pressure. A great game of football by two quality sides with the points shared. Player of the match was awarded to Anna Horton who worked her socks off throughout the entire game, Notts County are away next week to Real Utd in the Notts FA Womens Cup.


After last week’s tough cup game it felt like an extra week of rest would be needed for  Notts County Ladies who had to dig in deep and produce football to get back in the game today. However, even with only 11 players again they produced the goods on a cold windy day to beat a confident and productive Southwell side 4 – 1. All credit to Southwell to make the journey around flooded villages following the bad weather and make a real fight of the game. County were not their usual composed self-early on, but still determined enough to play the passing game and create chances. The defence had to be shuffled yet again due to lack of players and Abbie Gale was gratefully received back in the team today at right back and never put a foot wrong. Laura Muir swapped sides to go left back and Jade Benniston and Lucy Harris worked very hard in the centre of defence, they competed strongly and pushed the line at every chance. Midfielders of Sammy Barlow and Jess Knott pushed forward quickly and with the combination of wing attack from Kirsty Peat and Ashleigh Harris it was hoped this would be a comfortable game. Despite chances this game was fairly even at 20 mins and following a great save over the bar from today’s stand in goalkeeper Eleanor Brooks using her skill the resulting corner was cleverly struck with wind advantage and gave Southwell a 1 – 0 lead. This was a warning sign that County needed to learn from and within a minute the two strikers of Charley Maclaren and Captain Ellie Marriott combined from a Bennniston corner to get the game level. Marriott had superbly headed the corner that was well saved but Maclaren who was on hand to pounce and score. The most exciting part of the game then happened as Peat combined with Barlow and Knott to eventually see Barlow control and unleash with her favoured left foot and beat the keeper.  Southwell continued to press and whilst Marriott was passing well for County one or two passes went astray that could have led to more goals but instead led to pressure from Southwell. The pressure was thankfully relieved as Muir and Gale kept their cool and Bennsiton pushed with Harris to gain more possession. This led to Peat and Harris combining well to see Peat send in a cross that once again Barlow converted. The second half was a similar affair and with Brooks long goal kicks the attackers pushed on and kept working hard. Harris had spell on the side lines due to injury but thankfully her grit and determination saw her back on the pitch and keep County strong. Benniston was unlucky with a great shot and Maclaren and Peat both went just wide, as well as Harris heading just over the bar. All credit to Marriott who despite not getting her goal got player of the match for her hard work and neat passing, The game was finally settled after another Benniston corner sailed to the back post for Knott to jump highest and head home. County then had to rely on the defensive players for a spell and there were always signs that Southwell would get something. The remainder of the game was a tense affair as each side tried to keep the ball but a final whistle was to end a thoroughly competitive match. Scorers: Sammy Barlow 2, Charley Maclaren, Jess Knott

A chill in the air met Notts County Development team today away to Teversal Ladies in their first ever Womens County cup tie. The luxury of a squad of 20 players was not to benefit Notts today as only a just about fit 12 made the game. Our striker was in goal, our defensive line was shuffled all through injury and illness. The tough determination was evident but the 3 - 0 defeat says it all. In fairness the third goal was in the dying minutes when County were down to 10 men and literally dying on their feet. Throughout the game County never stopped passing and trying to create chances but that goal that would have got them back in the game after going 2 down in the 17th and 19th minute would not come. Every player was excellent in the skill, effort and commitment to each other. Ashleigh Harris worked tirelessly on the wing and covering in defence to earn herself the player of the day. The players do not need mentioning this week individually as those that were there know they played their part equally and can be very proud of a great team effort. Final score: 3 - 0 Player of the Match: Ashleigh Harris 


Notts County Ladies 1st team made a 200 mile round trip away to second placed Grimsby. Arriving after a 2 hour journey to a pitch more suited to Rugby, Notts were with a full strength team and Goalkeeper Hazel Clarke back from a 2 week break through illness. The back four of Lauren Jubb, Serena Mason, Susan Cronin and Alex Johnson were having to be strong and quick to attend to the Grimsby strikers. A battle was emerging in midfield as captain Selina Luciw and Robyn Henton were giving as good as they took with Jasmin Bear and April Bingham in wide positions and Alex Francis and Courtney Walters pushing high up the field. Unfortunately the game will be remembered for all the wrong reasons as the referee spoiled what should have been a good advert for ladies football with far too many and un-necessary cards when a word would have sufficed. The game saw 8 cards being showed with Notts County collecting 6 of them. Grimsby were quick to close down and possibly shaved the first half with possession and a well taken goal from a diagonal long ball over the top. Strong words at the break to keep composure and discipline with 2 players already on yellows. The key to the second half was that we must keep possession better, relax and composed on the ball. No changes were made and as in previous games Notts Came out a different team and began to play there passing game looking to switch the play and play backwards to keep possession. County were having good possession and were now creating goal scoring chances with April Bingham coming close and Alex Francis shooting just wide of the post. 15 minutes into the half a little magic down the left side from April who cut inside and slid the ball into the near post for her first goal for the club and a much deserved equaliser. There were to be a number of strange and annoying bookings in this half which were not to phase County as they tried to focus on the game at hand. With 10 minutes remaining Grimsby were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and cruelly it dipped in behind the keeper for 2-1. Notts were pilling on the pressure and it was looking likely that another equaliser was on the cards as April Bingham ran the ball into the Grimsby box and had her legs taken from under her for a penalty. Not unsurprisingly the referee saw it differently and awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Notts came close again as Alex Johnson screwed her shot just wide of the post. A point a piece would have been a fair result, but it was a bitter pill to swallow after a long day and poor refereeing to come away with nothing. The team have a 2 week break to re-group, big thank you to the supporters who travelled, your support was much appreciated.

Eight goal thriller at Elms Park, Ruddington saw Notts County almost pull off a remarkable comeback. Notts County were thrilled to welcome CBBC Hero Squad member and England U15 footballer Katy Gigg to their pre-match team talk. It was a damp cold afternoon and County with a make shift back four were at six and seven’s early on and despite the team starting really well, mistakes gifted Ruddington a two goal start. Not an ideal start but there was still a long way to go and County were showing good signs of good possession and creative play. Ruddington had a spring in their step and the long diagonal ball into their fast pacey strikers were causing the county defence all sorts of problems, Ruddington increased their lead with a further 2 goals and County just before the break pulled a goal back from a corner which bobbled out of the Ruddington box for Courtney Walters to volley home. The half-time team talk was about instilling some self belief and with no changes made the team came out a different team as they were pressing together allowing Ruddington very little time on the ball. It was all County as they camped in the Ruddington half and the pressure soon paid off when Courtney rounded her marker and from an acute angle slipped the ball into the near bottom corner. County were using the wide players well as April Bingham and Siobhan Wood on opposite sides were getting behind the defence with their storming runs and crosses. It was from a cross that mid-fielded Anna Horton connected with a thumping shot it into the back of the net for 4-3. With only 25 minutes to go Captain Selina Luciw made way for Cath Eyley and within minutes Cath was through and all it needed was the smallest of touches to help the ball over the advancing keeper but unfortunately got too much on it for the ball to go the wrong side of the crossbar. County were pushing everything forward as they went looking for the equaliser, Alex Francis’s shot on the edge of the box was rising unfortunately just over the bar, Alex Johnson’s header again just over the bar, there were shots coming in from all angles and Ruddington were clearly rattled and hanging on. With 10 minutes to go the cup tie was over as Ruddington broke on the counter and a rare goalkeeping mistake gave Ruddington a sloppy goal and their place in the next round of the league cup. Andrew Eastwood County Manager was full of praise for his team’s performance today as they shown real character to fight back from four goals down. Player of the match was awarded to Serena Mason in the County defence. The team are back in league action next week with an away trip to Grimsby.

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