Notts County Ladies FC vs Birmingham away 23rd April   Leave a comment

Still looking for their first win of the season Notts County Ladies FC went on the road for the first time this year, away to Birmingham at Solihull Moors FC.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

When push came to shove neither team could really afford to lose this battle. With such a short season of only 14 league games and with Chelsea topping the table with maximum points losing at Solihull for either team would make it difficult to stage a serious challenge for the title.

19Apr2015_0084This is the ‘happy face’ pre-game ritual.

With the Matt Rowland images Restraining Order lifted I can exclusively reveal that Matt was actually playing Grand Theft Auto on his laptop and not tweeting to the Notts fans at home.

19Apr2015_0227Matt plays GTA instead of FAWSL.

Notts terrific away support grows larger each season. It must be the burgers!

19Apr2015_0184Couldn’t wait until half time eh? :)

This young lady wins the ‘cutest mascot’ award.

19Apr2015_0199She’s almost as tall as Alex Greenwood. :)

Now then, what can I say about this guy that won’t land me with a legal action? Okay, imagine somebody that is a talented musician and vocalist that is playing upbeat tunes to get everybody in the mood for an exciting game of WSL football. Got it? Okay, now imagine the absolute complete opposite and you’ve just experienced what we had to suffer prior to kick-off.

19Apr2015_0170‘Rick Parfitt’ goes through his complete ‘A-Z’ repertoire (we wish!).

The game kicked-off (thankfully) and almost immediately became an edgy, bad-tempered affair with little quarter being shown in the tackle.

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In fact… I’ll just let the pictures do the talking to give you a feel of the game…..

19Apr2015_0033… ouch…

19Apr2015_0038… bash …

19Apr2015_0037elbows and forearms

19Apr2015_0106pushing and shoving waiting for a free kick…

19Apr2015_0115clattered and bruised

19Apr2015_0108lift off

19Apr2015_0101and carried off – yikes! Fingers firmly crossed for Alex’ quick recovery.

The game had become a really nervous and scrappy encounter that delivered little flowing football. Notts gave the ball away way too often and really had no answer to Birmingham’s hard pressing tactics. Ultimately the game pivoted on two turning points (can you pivot on two turning points?):

The first was a foul on Rachel Williams…

19Apr2015_0057Williams it put clean through and gathers the ball with skill and drives in on goal…

19Apr2015_0056… and is cynically tripped from behind just as she’s about to enter the 18 yard box.

19Apr2015_0059The Birmingham player is booked and a case could be made for a red as Williams was in on goal. The resultant free-kick came to nought.

19Apr2015_0126The second incident was a penalty kick to Birmingham as a result of a mis-timed tackle in the box by Fern Whelan.

19Apr2015_0128Yup – that’s how we all felt.

Birmingham’s number 8 Allen steps up to take the penalty and…

19Apr2015_0138Carly Telford saves! Thank heavens she’s making a habit of this.

Late in the game Notts might have snatched it when the Birmingham keeper lost a cross in the air….

19Apr2015_0213… and Jess Clarke was just too far away to be able to poach the dropped ball as it bounced goalward before being cleared on the line.

The fulltime whistle went and the points were shared.

19Apr2015_0229Rick (Passmoor) gives the obligatory interview. One is left wondering if he felt it was a point won away to a tough team that finished 3rd in the league last season or two points dropped by a squad of players that are undoubtably, on paper, a team to fear?

(C) Drew Smith Photography

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and just in case I should ever write or post anything inaccurate, stupid or downright misleading I’d like it to be known that those inaccuracies, stupidities and misleading statements and pictures are mine, and mine alone! 

…. everything else is Matt Rowland’s fault.

One game away from Wembley!   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies FC tonked (technical terminology) Aston Villa Ladies 5-1 yesterday at Meadow Lane to progress to the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup – just one win away from a Wembley Final!

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Here’s the game in words and pictures:

My day at the Lane for this quarter final game began by jumping in to the ‘way back when’ machine with Goal Keeping coach Bob Widdowson – we did the whole ‘do you remember when’ thing about how back in the day footballs were made of leather, coated liberally with dubbin and weighed half a tonne.

12Apr2015_0001Bob Widdowson ‘remembers when’ goal keeper gloves were green string affairs bought from the CO-OP.

Prior to the game both sets of supporters were well represented….

12Apr2015_0023… some of our lot (minus Harry Secombe this week)…

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… some of their lot, in need of Julie Roberts to sort out their supporters merchandise.

Sophie Bradley and Ashleigh Plumptre with..er…missus Magpie…

12Apr2015_0020… sporting her ‘trip hazard’ right boot!

Just before kick-off I spotted this beautiful young lady in the stands with what was later confirmed to be a …

12Apr2015_0028Magpet on her head – I don’t think she even knew.

Off the back of Ellen White’s set-piece goal against Arsenal going viral on Youtube, tactician and set-piece supremo Colin Walker had been lined-up for an interview after the game with ‘Football Tactics Monthly’… he was very excited about it…

12Apr2015_0002Mr Walker, with a tactical wipe board hidden up his jacket, keeping his new set-piece close to his chest.

The teams came out to line up for the ceremonial hand-shake. I kinda like the randomness of this eclectic gathering…

12Apr2015_0032… especially Ms Magpie strolling past in the background.

The mascot shot, all three of them…

12Apr2015_0036… more than one of these people don’t actually look like they want to be here.

The team huddle needs working on, there just doesn’t seem to be the same commitment there used to be, as …

12Apr2015_0037… apparently Rachel Williams has been going to the Marcel Marceau mime school in her spare time and Leanne Crichton is discussing pedicures with Jess Clarke.

The game got underway with Villa kicking off. Unfortunately for them that was about as close as they got to County’s goal during the first half. Notts enjoyed large spells of possession in their opponents half but struggled to convert this pressure to clear cut chances.

The Pies right winger Jess Clarke probed the Villa defense until eventually winning a free kick.

12Apr2015_0046Clarke is brought down some way outside the Villa box. Free kick Notts….. Colin Walker tenses and began sending in signals from the sideline to Laura Bassett.

White, Basset and Buet (a good name for a firm of solicitors) arranged themselves according to Tactician Supremo Walker’s instructions. Buet runs to the ball, shapes to strike it then steps over it at the last minute…. then Laura Bassett does a backflip whilst Ellen White does a head stand.

12Apr2015_0048Those aren’t shin pads down’s White’s socks, those are Colin Walker’s instructions on how to take a ‘gone viral on Youtube’ free-kick.

Eventually, 3.5 minutes later, after a clown car with 28 midget clowns and a bucket of custard has been on and off the pitch twice, the set-piece comes to an end and the ball is finally touched square for Alex Greenwood to run on to and ….

12Apr2015_0049… have her shot blocked.

The game rumbled on. Notts were guilty of not moving the ball quickly enough, dwelling a little in possession and becoming a little bit sloppy with their passes.

Ellen White ran her heart out with her usual brand of skill and determination and even had time to come over to say hello during the first half…

12Apr2015_0057Hi Ellen. :)

The game was beginning to follow the same pattern as the previous tie against Tottenham as it trundled toward half time when to everybody’s surprise Ellen White picked up a ball not far inside the Villa half, turned and smacked the ball on the rise some 30-40 yards over the keeper’s head and into the back of the Villa net!

1-0 NOTTS!  

12Apr2015_0209Ellen white just a little pleased with her sublime strike to put County ahead just before the half.

Half time then… Below is a space where a picture of Matt Rowland would normally be. I know many of you like seeing the Marketing mountain featured in my Blogs…

‘no picture of Matt Rowland here’

… unfortunately the restraining order prevents me from posting any pictures of Matt for the next 7 days.

The game resumed.

County win another free kick – this time fooling their opponents by simply having Alex Greenwood shoot at goal. Her free-kick hits the post, rebounds and presents itself to Laura Bassett …

12Apr2015_0068… who side-foots it home with aplomb into an empty net from 6 yards out.

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12Apr2015_0070

Williams intercepts Bassett as she tries to jump into Whelan’s arms.

Villa began to tire and Notts put them to the sword…

One of the saviours of County’s season last year, Aileen Whelan struck next, adding the third…

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… running onto a neat little through ball she stretched to prod the ball past Caitlin Leach in the Villa goal.

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Yes, 3-0 Notts.

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Another fine performance from Aileen rewarded with a goal.

Three goals up and Notts brought on the talented Dunia Susi and it wasn’t long before she had an impact on the game. Her first goal was struck with ferocity from the right of the Villa box and flew into the top left corner.

12Apr2015_0110

Susi rockets an unstoppable shot into the back of the Leach’s net to put County 4-0 up! Or does she?? She got into this position so many times during a space of a few minutes in the second half that I’m not sure which one of these is the one she scored from – answers on a postcard please. I think it might have been this one. I’ve no idea I don’t get to watch the game.

12Apr2015_0133Or was it this one?

Anyway…

12Apr2015_0234

Susi leaves Villa out for the count.

12Apr2015_0114And celebrates her goal.

With 20 minutes to go Notts might have run in another 2 or 3 …

12Apr2015_0108… Clarke’s duck is still to be broken as Leach blocks her shot.

12Apr2015_0099Whelan looks to add to her tally with a deft header over the Villa keeper but Caitlin Leach makes a finger tip save.

As the tackles became a little wild and tired Leanne Crichton picked up a knock that needed the attentions of the Notts Physio Krista Van Alten.

12Apr2015_0232Krista (Smurf) Van Alten waves to friends in the stand.

The wheels really came off Villa’s game when after a rash of bookings…

12Apr2015_0073

Number 15…

12Apr2015_0066Emily Owen

12Apr2015_0081

… was sent off for her second bookable offense.

Which made it all the more bizarre and frustrating for Carly Telford I’m sure, when Villa marched down the other end of the pitch and scored their only goal.

12Apr2015_0236

Villa’s Kerri Welsh heads unopposed past Telford in the County goal to make it 4-1.

Only to see Susi slam home Nott’s 5th goal only minutes after the restart!

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The score remained the same for the last few minutes and the full time whistle put an end to the second-tier visitors best ever FA Cup run. Well done Villa.

There was a mini pitch invasion at the end of the game as fans raced to get pics and selfies with their favorite players.

12Apr2015_0164

And of course there was just time for Colin walker to be interviewed by the editors of ‘Football Tactics Monthly’.

12Apr2015_0176Colin Walker frantically makes notes as the young man in the center reads out another set-piece for Colin to try in training next week. Although Colin was overheard insisted that there be no clown cars and custard pies in this one!

12Apr2015_0179Rick Passmoor is asked what he thinks of Drew Smith’s blog.

Notts reward for brushing aside their opponents is a semi-final tie with Everton on Sunday the 3rd of May.

(C) Drew Smith Photography

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and just in case I should ever write or post anything inaccurate, stupid or downright misleading I’d like it to be known that those inaccuracies, stupidities and misleading statements and pictures are mine, and mine alone! 

…. everything else is Matt Rowland’s fault.

Owl be back!   Leave a comment

Those wonderful enigmatic Barn Owls – as frustrating as they are beautiful. This week I found a new location that has a pair of Barn Owls hunting through a wide area of connected strips and patches of meadow grassland.  On my first two visits one of the pair obliged by turning up to hunt and offering me a tantalising glimpse of what great shots I might get on later visits.

So typically I spent the last 3 evenings standing quietly, for several hours each time, on my own, completely on my own, in the meadow waiting for the arrival of one of them. But to no avail. The little rascals.

But I’ll be back.

Here are some pics from our first encounter earlier this week:

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Barn Owl Bulcote_0003

(C) Copyright Drew Smith Photography

 

Posted April 10, 2015 by Drew in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Notts County Ladies vs Arsenal Ladies – late drama at the Lane!   1 comment

County looked set to take a well deserved 3 points from this drama laden contest against Arsenal but conceded an equaliser in the dying minutes to draw 1-1.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

There were at least two things that spectators couldn’t fail to notice on entering the ground last night…

020415_0202

… one was the multitude of TV cameras – I counted at least 7 of differing shapes and sizes. And…

… the FanZone –

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… a great match day area full of fun things to do for young fans.

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Here’s Jess trying her luck on a shooting game. I think this one was ‘how hard can you smack the ball at the goalie’ game. A well known method of warming up in park football up and down the country.

As game time approached, players, staff and TV presenters warmed-up.

020415_0041

Carly Telford warms up with some goal post stretches…

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… presenters practice looking swerve and sophistimicated (wonder what the different coloured microphones denotes?)…

020415_0082

… and Matt (Marketing Macrocosm) Rowland practices his ‘cat herding’ skills. Notice how he’s commanding the ball girl’s rapt attention as he delivers his inspirational address.

The atmosphere was building as the teams squared up for the kick-off. Drums boomed, the crowd cheered and the whistle blew to start what was to become a gripping encounter.

020415_0228

Arsenal Ladies kick-off to begin what was really a first half drubbing from County.

It was a fairly warm evening, the threatened rain had thankfully failed to materialise and on the eve of an Easter weekend break…

020415_0226

… Notts County Ladies FC attracted a record crowd of over 1,600 spectators! And were they in for a treat!

From the word GO the game was a feisty encounter…

020415_0230

Alex Greenwood and Arsenal’s Leanne Sanderson compete for the ball.

The County players battled, closed down and broke up Arsenal’s play in all areas of the pitch.

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The fiercesomeness of Ellen White.

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The speed and agility of Alex Greenwood.

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The determination and drive of rising star Rachel Williams.

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The commitment and courage of Aileen Whelan. Aileen (in my book) played a large part in County’s domination of the first half.

Notts bossed the first half. The crowd responded, really getting behind their heroines as they proved to be indomitable everywhere on the pitch.

Then the GOAL!

County were awarded a free kick just outside the box. White and Greenwood lined up in a mini wall as skipper Laura Bassett placed the ball…

020415_0142

… the stage is set. I’d watched the girls practice this in training a few weeks earlier…

Team Photo & Year Book_0297

… and had my fingers crossed.

The pantomime was played out as Basset shaped to strike the free-kick but then stopped to berate Greenwood for not playing the ball or moving out of the way at which point Greenwood touched the ball deftly to her left for Ellen White to turn and curl the ball into the Arsenal net.

020415_0144

GOAL NOTTS!

1-0

Celebration took place as White and the players ran to salute the crowd …

020415_0148

…and Colin Walker the assistant coach and evidently a free kick tactician supremo.

020415_0152

He’s in there somewhere.

County were well worth their one goal lead and had the Gunners on the rack the entire half; so it wasn’t a surprise when the opportunity arose for the home team to go 2-0 up.

Ellen White in the thick of it again was brought down by Jemma Rose less than two minutes after she’d scored County’s opener and she stepped up to take the spot kick herself…

NO PICTURE HERE

… which she hit wide of the post with the keeper going the other way! I’m not ashamed to say I have no pictures of this – I’d stopped to watch the game. Sometimes I can’t separate being a fan from being a photographer. :)

The second half saw Arsenal start to retain the ball a little better but more possession didn’t equate to more chances, as they still failed to substantively threaten the County goal or trouble Carly Telford unduly.

One thing that didn’t change in the second half was the fieriness of the game. Ellen White was deemed to have fouled the Arsenal keeper and a bout of pushing and shoving ensued.

020415_0318

White shoves Scott…

020415_0316

… Scott shoves White… (nobody seems too bothered about the keeper) as Nobbs joins the fray…

020415_0325

… Leanne Crichton steps in as mediator/Bouncer to calm things down as Buet and the Referee trample on the injured Arsenal keeper …

020415_0329

The ref finally gets a word in and books White (whilst the keeper seems to have recovered somewhat).

The game continued to snarl and bite throughout the second half…

020415_0166

Jess Clarke ran tirelessly.

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And clock watching began as County remained 1-0 up with 20+ minutes to go, as…

020415_0340

… composure was kept…

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… and work rate was maintained.

The time…

020415_0314

.. ticked slowly away.

Then started the substitutions and on came the woman destined to break County hearts.

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I’m talking about Chioma Ubogagu not Laura Bassett, she was already on the pitch.

Her arrival (Ubogagu) seemed to kindle a small fire in the Arsenal hearts and they suddenly sparked into life and began to look threatening.

020415_0358

Ubogagu fans the flames…

… and then silences the County fans as she picks up the ball on the edge of the County box and …

020415_0350

… strikes a shot toward the Notts goal…

020415_0351

.. which is destined for the corner of Carly Telford’s net!

Notts 1-1 Arsenal

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Arsenal are delirious with relief at snatching a point.

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The Gunners celebrate nicking a point at the death.

020415_0376

Rick was not a happy bunny at times…

But despite Notts’ last minute capitulation this evening, the real winner…

020415_0288

…was women’s football and the WSL. A record crowd was treated to a simply excellent game of top class competitive football played in a carnival atmosphere. If you are reading this and haven’t been to a WSL game at Meadow Lane then you are missing out! :)

Full time and debutante Chioma Ubogagu was thrust into the limelight without having time to wipe the sweat from her brow.

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TV wants to know ‘how it felt’ etc.

And the County team have to…

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… console themselves with knowing that they are adored by their fan base. Which is pretty cool. :)

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Again, if you have read this far (well done) and like the sound of seeing a NCL FC game then get your backside down to the Lane and get involved in the excitement! Next home game – Notts County Ladies FC vs Aston Villa Ladies KO 14:00 Sun 12 April 2015  at Meadow Lane.

(C) Drew Smith Photography

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and just in case I should ever write or post anything inaccurate, stupid or downright misleading I’d like it to be known that those inaccuracies, stupidities and misleading statements and pictures are mine, and mine alone! 

…. everything else is Matt Rowland’s fault.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Ladies at Meadow Lane   1 comment

Notts lost their first league game of the season against title hopefuls Chelsea. The Pies going down 1-2; beaten by a second half penalty.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

‘If you’re on time then you’re late!’ might be the adage this lot live by….

290315_0178… always the first in, and a good hour before kick-off too. Nice scarves ladies, but who brought photo-bombing Harry Secombe along? :)

The team warmed up and so did the Manager…

290315_0167… this is Rick (has the skills to pay the bills) Passmoor looking at the ball as if he’s never seen one before.

Other supporters were getting comfy and anticipating a great contest….

290315_0196… who does that beautiful woman on the far right remind you of?

Matt (the GoPro pro) Rowland puts in an early appearance…

290315_0198… Matt’s new tripod failed to stand up to the force 12 gales, so no Goalcam footage from this game. In his shoulder bag is water-proof make-up for the second half.

Game time and the team does the ‘gathering together-battle cry-running away-thingy’…

290315_0212… or possibly (looking at Amy Turner’s face) it’s the reaction to somebody breaking wind.

The game kicked-off with the weather looking to be the third opponent to battle in this exciting evening clash. Both teams jockeyed for position early on but it was Chelsea that started brighter with Eniola Aluko creating space and threading passes…

290315_0008… the girl certainly has a turn of pace, it would be an interesting foot race between her and Jess Clarke (pictured)

A fairly well matched opening 15 minutes or so ended when Chelsea’s took the lead through Davison!

Making a run in to the County box, she latched on to a pass from Drew Spence and slotted the ball past Carly Telford in the County goal.

0-1 Notts :(

Notts’ rebuttal was almost immediate. Greenwood’s corner flew like a lightning bolt from Zeus into the Chelsea Penalty area where Rachel Williams was waiting like the voracious trout of destiny in the babbling brook of footballing great goals …

290315_0237… to beat her marker and meet the cross like a long-lost lover…

290315_0238… to send it on it’s way with all the speed and accuracy of the Greek god Hermes…

290315_0240… swift and straight into the back of the Chelsea net.  So powerful that the Chelsea keeper Hendvig Lindahl only starts to react as the ball passes her left hand.

1-1 NOTTS! :)

Celebrations happened ….

290315_0244… with Sophie Walton and Fern Whelan getting to Williams first.

The half rushed to 45 minutes like an enthusiastic Labrador with it’s lead tangled around a tree; …

290315_0226… full of energy but not really going anywhere.

290315_0276A good crowd prepared to make a run for half-time pies and tea.

Half time then and a glimpse at the fans of the future…

290315_0042… how cute are these guys, reading the match program and chuckling over Matt Rowland’s spelling mistakes.

The second half was met by a violent weather front…

290315_0295… the heaven’s opened and the rain didn’t so much fall but swirl in mini tornadoes.

290315_0081Some of this rain is actually traveling upwards as well as from side-to-side!

290315_0082It made skilful play difficult and on occasion standing up too!

290315_0106Synchronised injuries. It will never make the Olympics.

With many people thinking that a share of the points in this game wouldn’t be a bad result, Chelsea scored the winner!

Davison picked up the ball on the left hand side of the box and squared up to take on Amy Turner.

The Chelsea markswoman jinxed outside then inside Turner and got a step on her to drive into the box to get a strike on goal. Turner’s attempt to prod the ball from Davison’s possession as she went past resulted in her clipping the Chelsea player’s foot and down Davison went.

290315_0096Penalty to Chelsea!

It was Davison who stepped up to take it, and…

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… sending Telford the wrong way, put Chelsea 2-1 up!

Despair! Then frantic play to try and pinch a late equaliser!

Leanne Crichton’s 20 yard volley was Notts last hope. The ball looked goal-bound but the shot struck the head of Chelsea’s Katie Chapman on route to goal and deflected wide.

290315_0305Anguish as Notts go close in the dying seconds.

290315_0117And that’s how it finished.

290315_0325Rick leaves the pitch deep in thought.

It’s never nice to lose and this was an important game against Chelsea, who themselves have designs on the title this season. But with many strong outfits in the WSL Div 1 this season, every game is going to be a battle. Which makes winning all the more enjoyable. :)

Notts County’s next game at Meadow Lane is on #bouncebackthursday 2nd April, against Arsenal – Kick Off 7:45pm.

(C) Drew Smith Photography

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own and just in case I should ever write or post anything inaccurate, stupid or downright misleading I’d like it to be known that those inaccuracies, stupidities and misleading statements and pictures are mine, and mine alone! 

…. everything else is Matt Rowland’s fault.

Notts County Ladies vs Spurs Ladies in the FA Cup   Leave a comment

It seemed like an age coming but finally the first competitive game of the 2015 WSL season at Meadow Lane arrived this Sunday. And it took the form of a FA Cup clash with Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur.

Game faces on… (strap yourselves in because this is a marathon blog)…… here’s the day in words and pictures:

 220315_0057_0007First game of the 2015 season at Meadow Lane and the sun shone as the team warmed up under the watchful eye of Strength Coach Paul (Trump Skill 14) Campbell.

It was a peaceful scene an hour or so prior to kick-off but up high in Row Z skullduggery was afoot: whilst the Gaffer Rick (Trump Speed 15) Passmoor was sleeping off a heavy meal in the dugout……

220315_0031_0004….. assistant coach Colin (Trump Speed 12 [generous]) Walker was plotting to overthrow the Boss and was secretly practicing his interview technique.

The usual suspects we in as soon as the gates were opened….

220315_0035_0005… accompanied by … erm….’lamb-i-pie’??

Back on the pitch and Sophie (Trump Shooting 32 [ironic]) Walton ….

220315_0049_0006… dreams of scoring the opening goal in the FA Cup final.

One half of the ground in bathed in sunlight and nice and warm, the other half is in the shade and 3 degrees below freezing….

220315_0063_0008… and this is a shameless plug for JPro isotonic drink so Matt Lawson can get some freebies.

Reserve keeper Jules (Trump Shooting 37 [ironically higher than Sophie Walton’s score]) Draycott has changed her hair colour for the 17th time this week.

220315_0078_0009 Keeper Draycott is looking for a ‘hair colour’ sponsorship.

On injured reserve this week were Sophie, Laura-Jayne and Ashleigh.

220315_0095_0010#lovingthefootwear

Last minute preparations before kick-off see Marketing Humongous Matt (chickened out of having a Trump card) Rowland deploying ‘Goalcam‘ ….

220315_0114_0011…. Matt carries instruction for Goalcam installation so he no longer has to hold it up for 90 minutes (which he finds more difficult as he gets older).

It’s almost time!

The teams are announced and the crowd roar as they exit the tunnel and take the pitch….

220315_0164_0012…. either the mascot has a two-tone ponytail thing going on or that’s Carly (Trump Power 61) Telford behind her.

220315_0178_0013A final pose for pictures and…. … it’s GAME ON! COYP!

Strangely enough Spurs seemed to start the game with more confidence than Notts; County seemed nervous and a little unsure in the first few passages of play. The combination of the first game at Meadow Lane for many of the starters and the team needing to gel competitively was most likely the cause.

So it was with relief with which the Pies spectators watched Notts begin to string a few passes together. Debutant Rachel (Trump Skill 69) Williams caused Spurs problems early on.

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A spluttering start to the game with Notts possibly holding on to the ball a little too long was compounded by Tottenham’s willingness to run and chase and close down like demented rabbits on illegal performance enhancers.

 And then Sophie Walton’s dream came partially true – she netted the opening goal in an FA Cup tie!
Ellen (Trump Power 66 [rubbish score – the girl is a footballing tyrannosaurus ]) White was battling everybody on the park and robbing a Spurs defender of possession slipped the ball in to the path of Sophie (Trump speed 64) Walton!
Hiding her sheer terror of being in on goal she sublimely passed the ball into the Spurs net and past keeper Toni Wayne.
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1-0 NOTTS and in the background White hits a double-biceps pose in celebration with Sophie.
Curiously this didn’t seem to settle the nerves and County continued to play in ‘fits and starts’ without ever finding a rhythm in their passing. Sporadic play aside Notts still created enough good chances to be 5 nil up at the break, evidenced by Dunia (Trump Skill 84) Susi hitting the post with the ball rebounding to Jess (Trump Tackling 59) Clarke unable to get a clean contact on the ball before it was cleared.
Just before the break an Alex (Trump Passing 99) Greenwood corner and subsequent missed punch by the keeper resulted in a scrabble in the six yard box and the ball careening toward the empty net….
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.. but with great lasp-gasp defending by Spurs number 12 Alex Keown the ball was cleared off the line…
220315_0401_0018Close but no banana for Notts.
The half time whistle went and Tottenham trooped off probably the happier of the two teams. Many fans (including me) expected a 4 or 5 nil thrashing but the plucky Spurs outfit really did put on a first half display that belied their lower league status.
Second half then….
… and County were still spluttering but flickered into flame more often than in the first half. And then…
…  making her debut at the Lane (unbelievable for somebody that’s been at the club for over a year) White picked up the ball on the edge of the Spurs box, feigned to shoot, went past the defender and crashed the ball into the back of the net and past the forlorn Spurs keeper.
220315_0433_00192-0 NOTTS! Ellen White showing text book form to score County’s second goal.
220315_1136_0051YES! A year’s worth of side-lined injury frustration gone in a second!
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Look at those clenched fists!
220315_1143_0052Fierce! I’m bloody intimidated.
Whilst Notts might not have been a silky smooth purring machine in their play the defense was as mean as ever and only allowed Tottenham rare visits to the edge of their 18 yard box, each one being closely supervised by the imperious Fern (Trump Tackling 89) Whelan and partner in the back four Amy (Trumps Tackling 96) Turner.
220315_1092_0048Spurs striker corralled by the stingy Pies defense.
I may be wrong but I believe that this….
220315_1381_0065… scuffed shot from distance was just about Spurs best chance on goal.

Back on the offensive Greenwood took possession 30 yards out and crashed the ball against the crossbar with the keeper….

220315_0550_0023… stranded like a Pirate without his wooden leg.

In a lull in proceedings ….

220315_1393_0066Rick (Trump Speed 15) Passmoor gives odds of 5 to 1 on Jules Draycott’s changing her hair colour before the end of next week.

220315_1343_0063

… and Turner quietly steals a few extra yards on the thrown in whilst Passmoor distracts the ‘referee’s assistant’.

County began to build pressure with several chances going begging as Spurs inevitably begin to tire.

220315_0515_0022So close….

220315_0569_0024… White heads across goal…

220315_0446_0021… Turner turns the screws.

220315_1329_0062Rachel (Trumps Power 97) Williams shows she needs her Trumps Skill score upgrading.

220315_1105_0049Jess Clarke had one of her quietly influential games  without scoring.

But it wasn’t until the very end of the game that County hit their third goal. With just a minute left on the clock, substitute Fiona (Trump Power 88) O’Sullivan bagged her first goal when she peeled off her defender to latch on to a ball popped up into the six yard box by Leanne (Trump Passing 87) Crichton and finish with a deft little header past the – stranded like a kipper in a smoke house – Keeper Wayne.

220315_0647_0025O’Sullivan peels and scores.

Game over at 3-zip but still just enough time for O’Sullivan to claim her second of the match and Notts 4th.

The striker worked hard to beat the spurs keeper with a lopping header into the far corner of the net.

220315_1480_0068O’Sullivan points the way to the quarter finals and Aston Villa at Home.

Full time and a win for Notts…

220315_0789_0033.. the huddle is a victorious one…

220315_0779_0032… then it’s time to pose for pictures…

220315_0803_0034… sign shirts…

220315_0830_0037… give autographs…

220315_0733_0028… plug sponsors…

220315_0741_0029… and stretch out.

Unfortunately there was almost a nasty incident when this reporter …

220315_0751_0030… suggested that Manager Passmoor now made all his team selections and formations based on the Trumps Cards stats! Passmoor was heard vehemently denying that he’d ever seen a Trump card.

220315_0842_0038Rick writing a cheque for this fan’s Dunia Susi Trump card in case he needs to play her next week. Rick – they’re £2 from the Club shop!

And there was just time for:

Ellen (Fierce) White…

220315_0764_0031… to explain to Matt Rowland what biceps are!

For Rick…

220315_0859_0040… to pose with a Panda…

And for Fiona O’Sullivan to do this…

220315_0816_0036?

See you all again at the lane on the 29th for the game against Chelsea – kick-off 5pm.

(C) Drew Smith Photography

Disclaimer: Just in case I should ever write or post anything inaccurate, stupid or downright misleading I’d like it to be known that those inaccuracies, stupidities and misleading statements and pictures are mine, and mine alone! 

…. everything else is Matt Rowland’s fault.

 

A pretty good week for women’s football…   Leave a comment

It was a pretty good week for women’s football this week.

It began 2 days ago with the FA announcing that in August this year the women’s FA Cup Final would be held at Wembley for the first time ever. Not bad, it only took 44 years from when it was first contested to get the upgrade.

DL8D6754_0534

I’m positive the venue will be suitably packed for the game, no matter which two teams get there….

1L0A6994_0074….. but of course we can expect record crowds with Notts in the final. :)

Following on from that the FA announced that it had been working with BT Sports to ‘increase’ the amount of coverage and broadcast time for the Women’s game on TV and would be continuing to broadcast live select FA WSL Div 1 games and cup compertitions.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea Camera in faceBT Sport is one of the founding partners of the women’s football commercial programme alongside Continental Tyres, Nike and Vauxhall. Well done guys.

Notts County Ladies vs Chelsea BT Sports

At last but certainly not least England’s women won the Cyprus Cup by beating Canada 1-0 in the final. Arsenal’s Lianne Sanderson bagged England’s winning goal seeing England lift the trophy for the 3rd time in it’s history, beating Canada on each occasion.

DL8D6409_0391Mr Sampson delivers the goods. Same again this summer please Mark.

(C) Drew Smith Photography

Disclaimer: Just in case I should ever write or post anything inaccurate, stupid or downright misleading I’d like it to be known that those inaccuracies, stupidities and misleading statements and pictures are mine, and mine alone! 

…. everything else is Matt Rowland’s fault.

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