Notts County Ladies 3 v 0 Wollaton,

What a difference a few players make and having virtually a full strength squad will be vital this year as Notts County Ladies under 16s, based in Linby, pursue their trophies. It was nice to see Lauren Wilson & Ashleigh Harris make their full debuts and despite their nerves showed why they fit perfectly into the County side and will be a great asset to the team. Technically County were the better side with countless passing moves and playing with style and strength, it was down to pure resolve and team spirit for County to come out 3 -0 winners.County’s possession was down to the better passing and skill created in the midfield with Sammy Barlow and Kirsty Peat. Their tenacity won many a challenge and the support down the wings with Eleanor Brooks and Harris made for a formidable line.

The backline of Lauren Betteridge, Sophie Beldham, and Abbie Gale was completed with Jade Benniston today who stepped in for a still recovering Ellie Marriott, but thankfully she enjoyed a couple of ten minute spells on the pitch to start to get her rhythm back. Beldham was tough as ever and Gale produced some clever passing moves with Brooks. Bec Collingwood in goal had virtually identical halves to keep a clean sheet. She pulled off saves from long range and one on ones in each half as well as some passback moves and never looked likely to let anything in this week. Up front Katrina Bloomer played a tactical game alongside the tenacity of Charley Maclaren who swapped her role with Emily Keeling. Keeling was quick through on a couple of occasions and more match play will see her get her finishes in the net. Bloomer was a handful for the defenders as her touch and control creates space for her to play neat passes around the danger area. After 20 mins County were in control and Elle Croucher had been introduced to midfield when her hard work found Brooks on the wing who swung in a curling cross that the keeper failed to collect and Peat popped up with a header to make it one nil. Brooks was again instrumental 8 mins later when her clever one two with Gale created another cross that fell to Beldham who swept it in from the edge of the area with a helpful deflection.

The second half some changes as Wilson worked hard in midfield and Croucher went out wide on the left and Gabi Oxley out on the right. Betteridge and Beniston were now talking well and were strong and resourceful in defence during a spell of pressure from Wollaton where there simple lob the ball tactics caused some chances. The half seemed to last an eternity and smart play from Harris winning a lost cause saw her cross the ball for Barlow to strike and hit the post.On the opposite wing Brooks came back on to continue her neat and skilful play and earned herself the Player of the Day with more telling crosses and throw in’s. The third goal was created by the move of the day, Benniston won the ball on her 18 yard line, ran it 20 yards for a pass to Barlow who neatly fed Bloomer. Barlow then ran on and collected the pass back from Bloomer, took a neat touch and fired it past the keeper. Credit to Marriott who is really struggling with her injury but on a positive note came on towards the end and finished the game with no problems. Fingers crossed and a great start to the season.

POM  - Eleanor Brooks.

 Scorers – Kirsty Peat, Sophie Beldham, Sammy Barlow