Notts County Ladies U16’s returned to their local rivals and fittingly for bonfire weekend there were a few sparks, not many fireworks and some crackers for goals. Credit to Rolls who came back well but could not stop a second half dominance that meant Notts County won 6 -2. County were on a lean spell after losing the last 3 through some poor performances but today was a turnaround with guts and determination. Not a game for the faint hearted as it was rough and tough but thankfully not controversial and well managed by a consistent referee. Early exchanges were in County’s favour and they passed with more confidence today and none more so than Kirsty Peat and Jade Beniston who thought quickly and smartly to set Sammy Barlow and Katrina Bloomer up with some early chances. County needed to identify the keeper for Rolls is probably the best in the league and create something different to make a breakthrough. After 15 mins Bloomer played off a neat ball to Eleanor Brooks who beat her marker and sent a long cross that Ashleigh Harris refused to give up and shot to goal that was followed up by Barlow to make it one nil. At the back Lauren Betteridge must be black and blue from the challenges she put in and the headers she threw herself at in defence. It was tough at times for the defenders and as per usual Ellie Marriott commanded and protected her defensive backs of Sophie Beldham and Abbie Gale. Heading was more evident today and Elle Croucher who was missed last week was a calming and committed influence in midfield. After 20 mins County took control as the most perfect of corners from Peat was met with the most perfect of headers from Bloomer. Her goal was justice for County as the entire 80 mins saw Rolls constantly push and elbow their way around the pitch but she cleverly pushed the keeper just before she headed home. Rolls came to life and again scored the goal of the day from a  30 yard free kick and one minute later Marriott was let down by her midfield as she cleared her lines and Rolls ran into to pick up a loose ball that Bec Collingwood dropped and scored. Game on 2 – 2. Just before the half time whistle Beniston produced her own belter of a free kick that was stopped on the line but ‘never say die’ Harris smacked home the rebound. The second half was lit alight by Bloomer and Barlow as within 10 mins they had skilfully and calmly pounced on loose balls and ran in to score to make it 5 – 2. Despite Rolls tactics, pushing, and pressure it looked as though County were enjoying themselves and even Marriott had a run at the end that nearly saw her break the defensive line. Croucher continued to be strong and Lauren Wilson settled again this week with good work at right back. Beldham was terrific with her tough tackling and Betteridge was not happy until she had headed the ball another 10 times. Danielle Brown is a joy to watch as she pushes herself hard and looks at every chance to make an impact. This week saw a much more improved passing game and Peat and Beniston fed the wings well and the likes of Harris thrived on their pace and precision. With the game closing 6 of the best came as player of the day Bloomer worked the ball well through Beniston and Harris and the ball came across the 6 yard box to be met by Brooks at the back post and secure a well deserved win. Rolls 2 – 6 Notts County. Scorers: Sammy Barlow 2. Katrina Bloomer 2. Eleanor Brooks 1. Ashleigh Harris 1.   Player of the match – Katrina Bloomer

Notts County Ladies U16’s started their Notts FA Shield campaign today and it was basically short lived as they were beaten by their local rivals Rolls Royce 2-1. Not a game for the faint hearted as a rough and controversial affair saw a yellow card and for the first time in 9 years of girls football we saw a red card in the game, Pleased it was not a Magpie player but it gives you a flavour of the game.  Errors were perhaps a flavour of County’s game as they did not pass effectively, catch the ball effectively or finish clinically enough. One key message is to get to the ball, but when you look at it and hope it comes to you eventually you are going to get caught out.  After 15 mins it looked as though County could ease these errors as Emily Keeling refused to give up a long ball and bought Ashleigh Cameron into play who managed to beat a player and get a cross into the box. Waiting for the cross was Elle Croucher who this time was determined and strong to get two shots in and thankfully end up in the back of the net.  It was hoped that this would push County on, but the opposite happened and Rolls piled on the pressure. In fairness they never got a shot in thanks to great defending by Ellie Marriott, Abbie Gale, Sophie Beldham and Lauren Betteridge. When County gained possession Sammy Barlow used the wings of Eleanor Brooks and moved forward only to see far too many times the Rolls keeper being in glorious form and pulled off terrific saves. Rolls got their just desserts in the second half after the ball was spilled by Bec Collingwood and they equalised.  From here on in we have to look at the positives from the game as County simply did not perform.  County’s decision making never got any better as shot after shot was taken too early and given to the keeper or skied high and wide when simple tap ins were the better option. Lauren Wilson was unlucky as her clever thinking from 40 yards out saw her header hit the post. Jade Beniston committed herself to the game despite still getting match fit after her illness. Thankfully Betteridge concentrated, committed herself and got to the ball well and earned herself player of the match. Danielle Brown refused to be fazed and worked hard but nothing else was going to get past the Rolls keeper. In extra time the ball was dropped again and Rolls got their winner. County did keep going and got free kicks and corners but a lack of imagination and movement meant they were all in vain. Training will consist of 1, heading the ball, a couple of players are excluded; and 2, re-sitting the offside exam. Well done Rolls, out and out determination is often the key to success. Rolls 2 – 1 Notts County, Goal Scorer – Elle Croucher, Player of the match – Lauren Betteridge

Nothing could dampen the day today as Notts County Ladies U16’s were proudly applauded as they paraded around Meadow Lane at Notts County v Hartlepool game, despite having travelled to Lincoln in the morning and narrowly lost 3 -2. There were lots of positives from the game especially when the performance of the likes of Ellie Marriott, Sammy Barlow, Bec Collingwood and Katrina Bloomer is anything to go by. From the off County tried to take control but quickly failed to notice the pace of Lincoln and put themselves under a lot of pressure. Lauren Betteridge alongside Marriott had to chase many a through ball and work well with Collingwood to clear danger. Abbie Gale had a torrid time with the left back but worked incredibly hard to stop the crosses. On the opposite wing Sophie Beldham was in a similar position and won the ball as often as she could. Kirsty Peat put in tremendous effort despite being under the weather and in midfield with Barlow won many a ball but struggled to make telling forward passes as Lincoln guarded their zones effectively. Bloomer has started up front with Emily Keeling and her skill and style helped to keep possession when we could and try constantly to break Lincoln down. However break is what Lincoln did with some neat passing play and split the defence to run in and score. Lauren Wilson was introduced and Gale took a well earned breather, this gave Wilson a chance to use her pace around the defence and try to play the ball up the wing for Eleanor Brooks and then move to support her. County still tried to win possession but some days that bouncing ball does not fall in your favour and your effort seems unrewarded. Ashleigh Harris is a regular starter now for County on the wing and is a hard worker and deliverer of the ball. Brooks on the right wing tries just as hard and was rewarded with an assist as she put in a high cross come shot that keeper could not reach and it dropped nicely for Barlow to slot home for 1 – 1. Katrina Bloomer nearly benefited from some hard work up front and caused the defence problems along with Elle Croucher who came on in midfield as County shuffled the team that also saw Charley Maclaren come on upfront. Bec Collingwood could be heard all day commanding her area and kept the game level after some Lincoln chances but was eventually unlucky as she brilliantly came out to stop a one on one but again the ball bobbled up for Lincoln to score. Just before the halftime whistle with some great battling from Betteridge and Marriott, County managed to pile on some pressure that saw Bloomer feed the ball forward and Barlow nipped in again to score and make the half time score 2-2. The second half again saw County pass and move the ball a bit better and put in some strong challenges from Danielle Brown and Maclaren who was also unlucky late on with a swivel shot in the six yard box. The theme of the day was Lincoln’s angled through balls that player of the match Ellie Marriott read well and got to first but midway through constant pressure let Lincoln in again to make it 3 -2. Even after this County never looked like giving up with the hard work of Brown, and could have equalised from a Jade Benniston corner and free kick. Beniston was back in the action after being out for 3 weeks following her operation and looked her usual determined self. The determination from the likes of Croucher and Keeling was dealt a cruel blow as the usual Lincoln home team,12th man, advantage came into play as the referee gave a penalty decision from 50 yards? Justice was done slightly as the ball was kicked skyward and over. The equaliser was not to come, But well done to the girl’s of Notts County who played in good spirit, you make us all very proud.

Notts County Ladies u16's were without a game this week, but were offered a friendly by West Bridgford. County with only 10 players making the game, were strong but exhausted in the hot autumn sun. Be that as it may they came out winners 4 -1. With our keeper not in attendance Charley Maclaren and Eleanor Brooks shared the minutes in the net and were happy to be fairly untroubled but when the opposition pushed forward they were on hand to tidy up. County played with a back 3 today of Ellie Marriott, Kirsty Peat and Abbie Louise Gale. Their communication and organisation paid dividends and they were more than comfortable in the roles. This weeks midfielders of Sammy Barlow and Elle Croucher were committed in the heat and played excellent football. In the first 30 seconds after the ball had been pushed forward by Marriott and Brooks it was collected by Emily Keeling who took a quick 20 yard shot that left the keeper stranded and County 1 - 0 up.  5 mins later and a lovely exchange of passes involving Katrina Bloomer and Danielle Brown resulted in Barlow picking her spot in the penalty area to make it 2 - 0. Peat, Marriott and Gale were taking neat defensive touches and spreading the play to the wings and midfield which created plenty of chances for Bloomer and Keeling.  County took complete control as player of the match Barlow added a neat third goal following a skilful control and pass by Bloomer, before a well earned half time break. The second half was a tough encounter as the lack of players and heat sapped the energy of the players but not the determination. A few way ward passes created problems but on the whole County maintained pressure and possession to get a fourth goal as Maclaren blasted in from 20 yards. West Bridgford never gave up and in fairness probably got the goal of the day after County had lost possession they pushed forward and scored a great 30 yard top corner goal. Final score: Notts County 4 - 1 West Bridgford, Scorers: Sammy Barlow 2, Charley Maclaren, Emily Keeling

Notts County 8 v 0 Asfordby Amateurs. A home game today was just the ticket for Notts County Ladies after a weeks lay off and they were bright and determined with a great 8 – 0 win against Asfordby Amateurs.  All credit to Asfordby who continue to travel quite a distance to their league games and showed that their skill and determination with only 11 players kept them competing when they could and never gave up. County were in command very quickly this week and despite some slight defensive frailties the ball winning by Elle Croucher and Sammy Barlow in the midfield was one of the key factors of the day. Early in the game Lauren Wilson was in complete control with good touches and pass that set up the first 2 goals. On 15 mins Wilson won the ball and neatly played in Emily Keeling who scored low in the bottom left. Literally from the kick off Ellie Marriott and Lauren Betteridge cleared up the ball in defence and a quick thinking Wilson this time played in Katrina Bloomer who ran in on goal and scored. In fairness it should have been 4 by that stage as both Bloomer and Barlow had shot over the bar from easy positions early in the game. Asfrodby were under a lot of pressure with County strikes on goal but the keeper made some key saves in the half. It was unfortunate with the game going so well for Wilson that she suffered a kick to the face and had to come off. Despite this she came back on in the second half and continued to play great football. A quiet spell saw Collingwood needing to be alert to chances that Asfordby created and a series of back passes that had to be improved upon kept her busy. Asfordby created some good play at times and Collingwood had to stretch to one shot that was heading for the top corner.The last 10 mins of the half saw County completely take over and Eleanor Brooks down the right wing and Ashleigh Harris down the left wing caused the defence problems with runs, challenges and crosses. Harris played in 2 quick crosses that went across the box and should have been converted. Brooks played cleverly to get into scoring positions and was unlucky with 2 shots again over the bar. Croucher was unlucky as well as she came close with a quick shot that the keeper pushed onto the bar. With 5 mins remaining Abbi Gale was alert at the back to stop Asfordby possession and the ball fell to Betteridge who quickly fed a neat pass for Bloomer to run in a score her second. After the first half the team shuffled slightly as new player Danielle Brown came on and Wilson went to right back. Brown was committed and tough during the game and shows good signs of being a competitive player with some good runs and passes.The second half saw more possession as the defence organised themselves and kept Asfordby quiet with better control and passing. This left the midfield pair of Croucher and Barlow to pile on the pressure and Brooks and Harris to play skilfully with passing and crosses. 3 mins in Harris was in full stride as a cross found a hardworking Charley Maclaren who scored under the advancing keeper. 5 mins later and Harris and Sophie Beldham worked cleverly together to push down the left and Player of the match Harris continued the pressure with 2 crosses when it eventually fell back to her and she crashed it into the net.The hard work of Barlow paid dividends as she created her own chance following some neat passing exchanges with Brooks and ran into the box to hammer home. The last 2 goals were a welcome reward for possession as firstly a Brooks corner found Maclaren eventually and she scored her second. In the last minute Brown worked hard to win the ball and passed to Brooks who quickly chipped it into Croucher who got a well deserved goal with a quick hard shot. Scorers: Emily Keeling 1 Elle Croucher 1 Ashleigh Harris 1 Sammy Barlow 1 Charley Maclaren 2 Katrina Bloomer 2


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