Notts County’s Under 18’s unbeaten start to the season was halted by a strong physical Oadby outfit as the visitors could not reproduce their recent displays. Oadby, who had themselves lost their 100% record the previous week were clearly in no mood for a repeat performance. The hosts opened brightly and pressed County back, winning possession from almost every 50/50 challenge. However it was Notts who produced the first early chance when the Oadby keeper spilled Faye Wheatley’s early free kick, but the defence reacted quickly to clear. Oadby were still the dominant side and forced a number of corners & a good save from Natilie Archer. The pressure finally told as the hosts took the lead with a glancing header from a corner kick. This appeared to shake County out of their stupor & the visitors quickly levelled the score. Courtney Csomor chased down a ball on the left flank, turned it back for Jenna Iliffe, whose lofted ball into the area was collected by Ellie Betteridge & steered past the keeper. The respite was short lived and a quick fire double soon had the host’s two goals ahead. Abbie Truman did well to clear the ball out wide from a crowded area, but County’s wide players failed to react & a dinked effort back towards goal ended up in the far corner. Worse was to follow, minutes later as Oadby found space down the right & a flashing cross was steered home at the far post. After such a poor start County began to find their way back into the game. Firstly a through ball by Ellie released Courtney down the centre but unfortunately her shot was straight at the keeper. Late in the half Molly Clifford latched onto a weak clearance & her lobbed effort drifted agonisingly wide.

HT : Oadby & Wigston 3-1 Notts County

After half-time County switched their formation in an effort to counter their host’s tactics & pressurise higher up the field. County engineered several half chances, with both Sara Duffield & Emily Thorne firing shots wide. Ellie now playing on the left was causing the visitors constant problems down the flanks, but County were unable to create that crucial goal. With 20 minutes remaining the visitors were dealt a further blow to their hopes. After a break down the left, halted by good defending from Jamie Clifford & Sylvie Aske the ball was played back to the edge of the area. Abbie stepped out to clear the ball and was clearly halted by a forearm across her face, before Natalie was beaten by a well struck shot. However the referee waved away the players protests & allowed the goal to stand. Despite the set-back County continued to battle bravely with Polly Lees-Collier now making good space down the left as Ellie had switched inside, but were unable to reduce the deficit due to some strong defending by Oadby.

Starting Line Up: Natalie Archer(GK), Jamie Clifford (RB), Sylvie Aske (CB), Abbie Truman (CB), Jena Iliffe (LB), Faye Wheatley (RDM), Ellie Betteridge (LDM), Polly Lees-Collier (LW) Elizabeth Williams (ACM), Courtney Csomer (LW), Sarah Duffield (F).

Subs, Molly Clifford, Emily Thorne Player of the Match; Elizabeth Williams

Who battled well throughout the game, in a congested midfield & showed excellent distribution under pressure. Also played well as an emergency centre-half, when switched there due to injuries.

A score line that doesn’t tell the full story and if there was ever a day to play Notts County under 16s, then this was the day as they could only manage to field a team of 9 due to illness and holidays. The young magpies put on a brave performance against a strong Cosby side. The girl’s found themselves trailing 4-0 at the break but Cosby didn’t have it all their own way as County had good spells of possession. The fear was that the visitors would tire in the second period but by playing smartly and playing with 8 players behind the ball and looking to hit on the counter resulted in them stifling Cosby a hat full of goals. Notts created a number of goal scoring chances the best coming when Katie Robinson from the centre circle played the ball wide to Kelsea Marriott who ran the ball down the flank and hit a superbly weighted lofted pass for Katie to get her head onto the ball only for the keeper to pull off a good save. Despite conceding 4 further goals the girls can hold their heads high as they worked their socks off and were playing for pride. Player of the match was awarded to Emily Clark at left back who battled and won numerous tackles and linked up well with Renee Freeman on the left flank. Team: Mia Strange, Tamara Miles, Megan Weston, Emily Clark, Renee Freeman, Hannah Askew, Leigh Worsdale, Kelsea Marriott, Katie Robinson.

In the past when these two teams met you could expect a highly competitive game and a number of goals, this game didn’t disappoint which saw Notts County doing the damage in the first period leaving visitor’s Sherwood with an uphill challenge in the second period. Both teams went very much on the attack with Notts keeper Natalie Archer pulling off a good save from a long range effort and at the opposite end a Courtney Csomor shot just going wide. On 10 minutes Sara Duffield from mid-field ran the ball forward skipping by a few challenges and a little off balance her shot went the wrong side of the up right. Notts were creating the better chances and it was only a matter of time until they opened the scoring. On 20 minutes Sara got on the ball from a Jamie Clifford throw to turn and play Ellie Betteridge in for her to drill the ball into the bottom corner 1-0. The home side doubled their lead 5 minutes later as Courtney ran the ball forward and played a square ball into the box with Sara playing a cheeky back heel into Ellie who’s first time pass back into Sara leaving her to thump the ball into the bottom corner 2-0. Sherwood were rocked and 2 minutes later Nott’s got their 3rd of the morning starting and finishing with Ellie as she played a ball out wide for Polly Lees-Collier to run the ball forward to play the ball inside to Sara who set the ball back for Ellie to strike with her left boot into the far top corner 3-0. Sherwood are a team that will never lie down and they pulled on back on the counter and finished well into the far bottom corner 3-1. The Magpies responded just before the break when Sara chased the ball into the keeper who spilled leaving Sara an easy tap in 4-1. The second period was a little flat as both teams lost the tempo and there were only half hearted chances at both ends, it wasn’t until the 60th minute when Courtney rounded the keeper only to be blocked was awarded a penalty. Sara stepped up and smashed a well-placed shot into the bottom corner giving the keeper no chance 5-1. Again Sherwood responded with a strong run and County failing to make the tackle allowing the Sherwood striker to hit a good shot into the far bottom corner giving outstretched keeper Natalie no chance 5-2. The girls in black and white wrapped up an impressive team performance when Faye Wheatley played in a delightful long diagonal ball into Courtney who combined with Elizabeth Williams who played a neat pass out wide to Polly Lees-Collier who from a wide position hit a terrific shot into the far top corner 6-2. Player of the match awarded to the hard working striker Sara Duffield who also got her reward for her efforts with a very good hat-trick. Goals: Sara Duffield 3, Ellie Betteridge 2, Polly Lees-Collier 1.

With a full team for the second week including new signing Mia Strange saw the under 16s finding the back of the net within the first 5 minutes as they entertained Arnold at Newstead recreation ground. Kelsea Marriott in a wide position drove the ball forward to the bye line and whipped in a cross to the far post for Renee to run onto and tap it home 1-0. Just 4 minutes later deep in the young magpies half Amy Townsend plays in a pass to Hannah Askew who from centre midfield slips the ball through for Katie Robinson to run onto and slot it passed the advancing keeper 2-0. Notts County were playing their football in the Arnold half and soon created another goal scoring chance as from a Kelsea throw into Tamara Miles who knocked the ball over the top for Katie’s shot to rebound off the keeper only for her to re-hit the rebound into the bottom corner 3-0. On 20 minutes the magpies were awarded a free kick and Kelsea hit a terrific long range lob which beat the keeper and dropped behind into the near post corner 4-0. The second period saw more of the same as Katie latched onto a diagonal ball from Amy and lobbed the keeper for her hat-trick 5-0. The sixth and Katie’s 4th came from a Kelsea cross leaving Katie to force the ball over the line 6-0. County’s 7th was from a terrific solo effort from Jade Henderson, who skipped by a number of challenges to finish off with a quality shot, striking the ball with the outside of her boot 7-0. The game was wrapped up when the home side got their 8th of the afternoon when Jade beat a defender knocking the ball one side and running the other to latch back onto the ball and finished really well 8-0. A good all round team performance, the result could have been more if it wasn’t for some excellent saves from the Arnold keeper. Notts County player of the match was awarded to Kelsea Marriott with goals from Katie Robinson 4, Jade Henderson 2, Kelsea Marriott 1, Renee Freeman 1.













Notts County U18’s pulled off a terrific result, against a strong Forest outfit at Newstead. In what was a fantastic advert for girl’s football, County edged to a narrow victory over their local rivals in an end to end derby, that could have gone either way. The Magpies had the best of the early exchanges carving open the visitors defence with a fine display of passing football. Sarah Duffield fired narrowly wide on a couple of occasions & Courtney Csomor had an effort smothered at the near post. However Forest responded with a cross goal shot and Natalie had to be quick off her line to block a close struck effort. The home defence well marshalled by Sylvie Aske, began to close down quicker and the visitors began to resort to longer range efforts. County continued to enjoy the bulk of the midfield possession with Elizabeth Williams, Polly Lees- Collier, Faye Wheatley & Ellie Betteridge all making valuable contributions. Sara Duffield was then thwarted by a great full length save from the Forest keeper, who then also denied Ellie at the near post. Forest were always a danger on the break, especially down their left & Jamie Clifford did a fantastic job to deny the opposition a number of crossing opportunities. With the half time whistle imminent it was Forest who took the lead as their Centre Forward’s persistence got her into the 6 yard box to blast the ball past the advancing keeper. HT Notts County 0-1 Nottingham Forest. County continued to press the game in the early exchanges of the second half and were rewarded with an early equaliser. A defensive clearance found Courtney on half way & her lay off was collected by Ellie who rode a couple of challenges to race clear & smash the ball past the advancing keeper. In the later stages of the game, County’s strategy of closing down began to sap the home side’s energy & Forest began to enjoy the lions’ share of possession. County then lost Sylvie to injury and were forced to re-shuffle their defence, which spurred Forest forward. As the game wore on, the home defence came under intense pressure with Abbie Truman & Jenna Illife both making decisive interceptions. However more problems for the home side, saw Sarah Perkins, who had linked up well with Courtney since coming on also beginning to struggle. Both sides had a number of opportunities to take the lead, but a combination of great goalkeeping & last ditch defending kept the scores level. With ten minutes to go it looked as if all County’s efforts had been in vain, when a penalty award gave Forest the opportunity to take all three points. Forests number 9, who had been a constant threat, beat the offside trap and as she attempted to drag the ball past Natalie the players became entangled. The referee adjudged that the keeper had deliberately impeded the forward and pointed to the spot. However County were let of the hook when the penalty was blasted well wide. The let off seemed to inspire the home side to renew their efforts and Forest paid the ultimate price when County stunned the visitors with a late goal. Once again it was Ellie who gained possession in midfield and drove at the Forest defence, before racing clear and calmly slotting the ball past the keeper. To their credit Forest desperately pushed forward in the final minutes but County held firm to claim all three points. Final score; 2-1 goals from Ellie Betteridge. Team: Natalie Archer (GK), Jamie Clifford (RB), Sylvie Aske (CB), Abbie Truman (CB), Jena Iliffe (LB), Faye Wheatley (RDM), Ellie Betteridge (LDM), Polly Lee’s Collier (LW) Elizabeth Williams (ACM), Courtney Csomor (LW), Sara Duffield (F). Subs, Molly Clifford, Sarah Perkins.


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