Notts County Ladies vs Birmingham (away)   1 comment

Misfiring County give up 6 points to buoyant Blues!

The Lady Pies faced a repeat of last week’s fixture (gotta love the FA), this time away to Birmingham, and came away with a repeat of last week’s scoreline!

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

It was a sunny day in Solihull for this game against a resurgent Birmingham side.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016023That’s mascot Grace with Laura – later sent off by the Ref for not wearing shin pads. Grace that is .. not Laura.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves….. first a few pre-game warm up pics to get us in the mood.

Here’s some of the backroom staff in the dugout:

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016008Bob, Tanya, Colin, Paul and the Gaffer contemplate the complexities and stratagems for the day ahead.

The Blues’ ball girls looked resplendent in their matching green strip … hmm, that must be the keeper in grey.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016017Yup, that’s the keeper, look at those shorts.

Our girls warm up.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016006Jessica and Aileen compare tattoos.

So, that’s everybody professionally warming up then….. oh, wait….

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016018… Matt (living the dream) Rowland goes through his own idiosyncratic pre-match warm-up.

Sadly Pies defender Sophie Bradley is out injured with a niggling knee injury.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016005Bradders sidelined.

Grace gets to meet her heroes:

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016021Posing with Rachel Yankey, then Sophie and Laura later on.

Some of the County fans arrived for this match before the County team:

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016004Ice creams all round. I wonder who this young fan’s favourite player is?

Birmingham’s fans were not to be outdone!

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016027Even the lollies were blue!

Then there’s just time before kick-off for Colin Walker to… get some posing practice in having been named the FAWSL ‘Mr July 2016′!

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016003Tanya times how long Colin can hold his stomach in.

Then it’s game on….. and the teams come out to fervent fan support.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016014Laura leads the Pies and Grace on to the pitch.

County started the livelier of the two teams with some forthright play on a difficult hard and bumpy pitch.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016042Carly Telford starts another attack.

Rick forsakes the dugout to perch on a bag of balls.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016040The Gaffer improves his core stability.

County came close in the first half and closer still when Blue’s keeper Baggaley stopped a thunderous volley from Ellen White:

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016035White executes a perfect volley but the balls flies straight at the keeper!

Then minutes later Notts missed a sitter. White wrong footed both defender and keeper with a perfect pass inside to Luik as she ran in to the  box…..

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016032

Luik meets the pass from White….

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016031

…. defender and keeper are already beaten….

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016030

… but Luik somehow steers the ball wide of the left upright!

From that point on Birmingham’s defense managed to block everything County threw at them.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016064Including this Amy Turner thow-in.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016028and Angraahad James’ shot.

Birmingham keeper Baggaley gave another accomplished performance.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016024Baggaley saves the Blues again.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016059The first half ended in deadlock! 0-0

The second half … the second half was inexplicable! Notts simply fell away. With little or no pressure on the Birmingham goal the Blues took the lead.

Remi Allen pounced on a Carly Telford’s save from Potter’s shot to give the Blues the lead.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016053Potter shoots!

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016054Birmingham celebrate Allen’s goal.

Second half substitutions couldn’t turn the tide.

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016060Aileen Whelan surrounded by blue.

The game ended with a bizarre incident when Rachel Yankey retrieving a ball for a throw-in seemed to be body-checked on the sideline by Blues ass. manager Marcus Bignot!

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016062Yankey falls to the floor after tangling with Blues’ ass. manager…

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016063… and pushes him in the chest… for which she is booked.

Neither ref nor linesman saw the sideways step Parker took to interfere with the County player.

Although the officials seemed to keep and eye on the less contentious moments in the game….

NCL FC vs BLFC 2016055…. they did continually fail to play advantage of any kind and instead blew early for the foul.

The final whistle went seeing County lose for a second time in 14 days to local rivals Birmingham. Had Notts capitalised on their first half chances who know what might have happened. This result took Birmingham to 3rd place in the league and sent Notts down to 6th with just 4 points.

There’s a long break in fixtures now (gotta love the FA) with the league resuming on the 26th of June. Time for Rick to put the wheels back on Notts season? We shall see.


Posted May 25, 2016 by Drew in Uncategorized

Redemption Monday! Tipping point for County as they beat Liverpool at the Lane.   Leave a comment

Redemption: noun 1. an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed.

Tipping point: noun 1. the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.

Notts County Ladies took a commanding 3-0 lead over two-time champions Liverpool on Monday then conceded 2 in as many minutes as they hung on in a tense finale.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1063

BT Sports were in town. The game going out live on channel 409 or somewhere down there.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1007

As usual the team had wonderful support with just shy of 1,500 spectators braving the weather to cheer the girls on.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1014

The FAWSL finally get with the program and advertise their product on the ball girls’ shirts. Genius.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1019

Sadly we can’t see which club these girls were from.😦

The girls warm-up beneath the 154 year old sign. Which is holding up pretty well.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1016

Super physio Krista with her YTS support.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1004

Matt (call me PT Barnum) Rowland gives another one of his inspirational talk to the volunteers.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1002The girls give him their rapt attention.

On the bench for Liverpool Alex Greenwood returns to the Lane.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1045Alex disappointed she wasn’t playing.

Here’s the gaffer having checked that the pitch will take a stud.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1023It’s pi$$ing down Rick, of course it will! :)

Rachel Williams, out with an ankle injury, chips the practice balls into the bag. Good job Krista didn’t see her.:)

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1015

Mascot Monday! Andy Stokes – new mascot head coach had put the kids through their paces ….

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1042… to make sure they were knackered and would stand still for the photo.

Kick-off then and after a dismal showing against Reading the week before Notts had to come out firing on all cylinders. With so relatively few games in a season County couldn’t afford to falter again.

The whistle blew and the heavens opened.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1034Ellen White was, as ever, seemingly everywhere on the pitch.

Her strike partner Jess Clarke was putting in her usual high-octane performance.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1033

Birthday girl Clarke was turning the reds defense inside out.

The rain continued poured down and County continued to apply pressure with Rachel Yankey pulling the strings.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1025Yankey prepared to pour cold water on Liverpool’s hopes of a victory.

Then on 13 minutes Notts got the breakthrough they deserved after bossing the game from the Kick-off! Good work by influential Rachel Yankey down the left flank …..

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1082

…….Ellen White was quickest to react to the cross and beat her defender and Liverpool keeper Siobhan Chamberlain to the ball to steer the ball over the line!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1036

1-0 Notts.

White celebrates with provider Yankey.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1035

County continued to dominate and really looked the part against a Liverpool side that were simply being outclassed.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1046

Ellen White dominates in the air…..

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1032

… and on the ground!

On 34 minutes a worldie from Jess Clarke made it 2-0 County. Picking up the ball on the right-wing she cut inside…

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1087

…. and hit a cracker with her weaker left foot that flew over the Liverpool keeper’s desperate leap into the air.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1029


NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1095 - CopyHappy Birthday Jess!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1096 - CopyThe 3 Amigos.

Notts were purring but against the run of play Liverpool were awarded a penalty for a tackle by Amy turner that seemed to clearly connect with the ball. But Caroline Weir skied the ball over the bar.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1102Dani and Carly celebrate the miss.

Just before half-time a push in the back sent County defender Sophie Bradley-Auckland sliding….

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1028

…. head first into the post!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1027

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1097

Sophie is escorted off by Krista.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1098 She came back on to play the last 5 minutes but didn’t reappear for the second half.😦

Half time then and no photos from me of the Matt (PT Barnum) Rowland show… basically because I was bent double laughing! If you were there you’ll know what I mean.:)

The second half then and Ellen White claimed her second and Notts’ third! Yup – 3-0 to the Pies!

White chases a long ball, collects and cuts inside the Liverpool defender and ….

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1051… curls a dream shot….

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1052… past the keeper…

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1053… to make it….

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1054… 3-0 County!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1061 GET IN! Ellen is …. pleased with that!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1063And so is Jess!

County were cruising! With 8 minutes remaining it looked like 3 points were assured.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1118

But …. then the wheels came off!

Another slightly dubious penalty saw Liverpool peg a goal back!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1117Katie Zelem scores from the spot!

Rick is somewhat perturbed by the turn of events!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1089

Then County conceded a second. This time Zelem slipping unnoticed through the Notts defense to receive a pass that….

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1115

…. put her in on goal to fire across keeper Carly to make it 3-2!

All that happened in 4 minutes!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1114

Surely we weren’t going to give up 2 points now!?

I don’t think Rick was asking Krantz to hurry up!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1101

Thankfully the final whistle came before a reds third goal. Which most certainly wouldn’t have been a fair result.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1099Panic over! Notts bag all 3 points and go to 4th in the table with a couple of games in-hand!

Rick wonders why he’s in football management!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1077

Ellen and Jess discuss whose goal was the best!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1073

Then Jess is off to collect her prezzies.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1071

And her fair share of adoration!

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1070

As ever the inclusive nature of the WSL is in evidence as players sign for the fans.

NCL FC vs Liverpool FA WSL1068This is Angharad James … who had a very impressive game in midfield.

Tomorrow Notts play Birmingham at the Lane.

Get along to support one of the top teams in the FAWSL and cheer on the Lady Pies to their second 3 pointer!

Posted May 7, 2016 by Drew in Uncategorized

Notts County Ladies vs Reading FAWSL Div 1   Leave a comment

The Lady Pies twice came from behind to draw their second league game of the season and their first at Meadow Lane against a battling Reading side.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

Possibly the best fans in the league were out in force on Sunday. With no disrespect to Reading but they simply don’t have the pull of a Man City, Arsenal or Chelsea and yet attendance was just under 900! A crowd any other team would be proud of for any game!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1042

A young fan spots Paul Campbell’s beard.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1015

Strength coach Campbell adds a finishing tweak to his full set.

Whilst another youngster asks her dad if he’ll donate his ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 7’ tape cassette as a half-time competition prize!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1045

Dad agrees…..

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1036….. and into Matt Rowland’s bumper box of prizes it goes!

Last season’s Agent Trenchcoat has been upgraded to Agent Cashmere Coat!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1007

Agent C brings some much-needed style to the Pies terraces.

Meanwhile back at the warm-ups assistant manager Colin Walker forgets to put on his glasses.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1011

Colin struggles to differentiate between his players and the Reading squad!

Until a steward is despatched to the assisted housing where Colin left his bifocals.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1003

Colin is a happy bunny again and heads off to talk to his own players this time.

Blog competition time! I’ve no idea who this is. So….

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1064

…. answers on a postcard wins a picture of your choice from this weeks game vs Liverpool!

EDIT: this is Taome Oliver new signing from Arsenal I’ve been told, by Rebecca Walker.:)

It was great to see Fern Whelan back in the squad and fit enough to be on the bench.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1012

Whelan back after a series of injuries plagued her last season.

Okay…. I can’t put it off any longer …. let’s get to the game:

Newly promoted Reading were the visitors.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1004

The Lady Pies line-up seems to be having difficulty focussing.

The referee (under FA directive 27b subclause 14a)  trials the new coin toss. The assistant ref (on the left) balances the coin on his nose, Laura Bassett has to catch it before it hits the floor to win the toss and the right to choose ends or kick-off.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1008

It’s a tense moment as demonstrated by assistant ref number two on the right.

The ref blows his whistle to start proceedings….

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1006

… the Pies mascot is not impressed!

The game commenced with Reading working hard in all areas of the pitch and strangely County seemed to be struggling to get out of second gear!

Then this happened:

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1068

Flashbacks to last season at home when Notts had a run of  conceding early goals.

Reading’s Ward, with nothing much else on, hit a speculative shot at goal which flew past keeper Telford and into the top corner!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1067

0-1 to Reading. This obviously necessitated some impromptu hair grooming.

County continued to struggle to find any rhythm or each other with an accurate pass with the ball spending much of the time in the air.

To add to their woes they then lost Rachel Williams with an ankle injury.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1017Ouch!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1070

Aileen Whelan replaces Williams.

And it was left to the hard-working Jess Clarke to bring the game level from the spot just after the half hour mark.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1028

Clarke places the ball….

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1029

… and slots it home…

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1030… sending the keeper the wrong way! 1-1.

The half continued with Reading battling and making chances and County unable to shake off their lethargic start to the game.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1032

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1027

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1023

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1021

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1020

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1018

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1016

But it wasn’t long before Reading were back in front. Apparently an own goal from Laura Bassett which to me looked like a headed goal from a  Reading striker:

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1102

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1101

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1100Either way 1-2 Reading!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1091

Half time intervened and mercifully brought to an end a half that lacked any kind of conviction from the County players. Reading worked hard and were a credible outfit but Notts were quite frankly playing well below their usual high standard.

Surely things would take a turn for the better. Cue Matt Rowland’s half-time beano of fun and games!

Matt calls the raffle winning number….

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1036… whilst checking he still has the first prize 80’s music cassette.

Rowland, ever the conservative he, decides to stick with last season’s tried and tested ‘penalty shoot out’ theme.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1039

…. the lucky raffle winner gets to put one past Mrs Magpie.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1040

Mrs Magpie needs some goalkeeper coaching from Bob Widdowson!

The Pies fan is jubilant at having won a signed copy of a Burger King menu.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1041 Matt Rowland has pocketed the ‘NTWICM’ music cassette for himself!

The second half

Jess Clarke lobs the Reading keeper to make it 2-2.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1052

Surely now County can push on and win this game!

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1087Happy at last!

County still not firing on all cylinders try to force the winner as the Reading keeper parries a shot from distant….

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1056

…. it spills out to Rachel Yankey….

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1057

…. who almost managed to nutmeg the keeper with a follow-up shot.

But alas the game finished with the points shared and County were left wondering where the team that lost in injury time to Man City away and to Arsenal on penalties in the FA Cup had disappeared to.

The signs were ominous when the usual post game huddle was abandoned and replaced with the warm-down.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1061

Rick conspicuous by his absence was giving a post-match interview.

NCL FC vs Reading FA WSL1062The body-language says it all. Rick took the team straight off the pitch to the dressing room after the game. 

The next visitors to Meadow Lane are Liverpool this bank holiday Monday.


Lets hope it will be Redemption Monday.

Posted April 27, 2016 by Drew in Uncategorized

Penalty shoot-out puts Notts out of the FA Cup   Leave a comment

A trip to Boreham Wood for the quarter-final of the FA Cup ended in heartbreak for Notts as they exited the competition after a dramatic sudden death penalty shoot out!

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016118

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The trip down the motorway saw the talented Ladypies team leave the overcast skies of the conurbation of Nottingham and emerge into the sunnier climes of the outlying suburbs of London, to play Arsenal in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

The day started with optimistic good cheer as Paul Campbell revealed his thicker, more luxuriant full set beard and moustache.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016079

Paul gives credit to Matt (‘the guy that can get stuff’) Rowland for supplying him with the ‘The Lover‘ British beard oil!

Joining the backroom coaching staff for the remainder of the season is Tanya Oxtoby.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016076

Tanya – the great and powerful Oz.

Rick’s fan club caught up with the great man before the game and asked him if he could show them his ball skills…..

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016078

….. Rick obliged:

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016077

The boy Passmoor shows the fans a clean pair of heels!

Carly Telford was back in goal for this game after Megan Walsh deputized for her against Man City last week, where she acquitted herself wonderfully well.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016084Pupil and Master.

The match officials….. unsuspecting of what was to unfold that afternoon.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016081

Linesman far left apparently won a silver rosette in last year’s ‘Beardy Boy 2015’ competition.

Arsenal FC set up shop. The offerings are somewhat sparse.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016080

3 mugs, 3 dodgy dinosaurs and a football. Makes the Notts County Club shop look like Aladdin’s cave!

Still, marketing mahout Matty Rowland couldn’t resist taking a pic of the set-up ….

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016082
…. maybe this is all part of his master plan for the first home game half-time entertainment!

Bearby Boy rosette winner eye’s Paul Campbell’s full set!

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016085

Paul plays it cool ……

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016120

…. and pretends not to notice the admiring glance.

This is Arsenal’s version of Matt Rowland. A slightly younger, better looking, more media savvy, multi-tasking version.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016089

The Matty Rowland upgrade – now available at all good footballing outlets.

On with the game then. The girls lined up before kick-off.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016093

Sophie Bradly-Auckland shakes hands.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016004

County started the game by far the stronger with Williams, Buet, White and Clarke leading the charge.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016020

Rachel Williams attracts 3 defenders.

Then minutes later goes close with a header…

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016091

….. and then even closer minutes later….

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016092

….. before Crichton joins in and heads just wide. Realistically Notts could have been 3-0 up.

But against the run of play Kelly Smith broke the deadlock with a class strike, hitting a volley past Notts’ keeper Carly Telford.
Wollaton Park wildlife 2016019
Smith makes it 1-0 to the Arse-er-nal! (notice the crowning of the pitch making photography problematic on occasion).
Arsenal celebrate….
Wollaton Park wildlife 2016021
…. somewhere over the hill.
County and their fervent travelling fans only had to wait two minutes for an equaliser which came courtesy of Sophie Bradley-Auckland when she glanced in a Dani Buet’s free-kick.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016098
Sophie Bradley-Auckland celebrates her goal as the Arsenal player look on in abject despair.
Wollaton Park wildlife 2016097
Crichton congratulates the County captain!
On 33 minutes County’s Aivi Luik made it 2-1 Notts! Ellen White challenged Arsenal Keeper Veenendaal from a Buet free-kick.
Wollaton Park wildlife 2016099
Veenendaal punches under pressure.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016100

And the ball drops kindly for County defender Luik to pounce.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016101

Notts’ number 3 makes it 2.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016104

Or does she? The referee seems to have disallowed the goal.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016102

But wait…. no, he’s given it! 2-1 Notts.

From this point on some of the Arsenal players began to ‘lose the plot’. Tackles flew in and tempers flared.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016024

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016025

The Arsenal player clearly goes through the player….

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016031

… but no booking.

But Ellen Whit’s attempted block….

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016008

… gets a yellow from the ref!

Arsenal seemed to be on the verge of imploding. The ref turned down two dubious appeals for penalties…

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016051

Kelly Smith seemed to be actively hunting a yellow card for dissent.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016060

… time and time again.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016050

And finally got what she deserved. I think Dani Buet was making a valid comment here.:)

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016072

The referee was under siege at various points.

As Smith seemed intent on showing everybody how to behave like a petulant child ….

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016059

… Laura Jayne O’Neil showed her how to behave with class even though she’d been fouled.

Half-time came and went but the game continued where it had left off with both sides playing good football but always seeming as if they were on the edge of a ‘biff zone’.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016044

And then horror of horror Notts went down to 10 players!

White already on a yellow chased down a ball with the ruthless determination and work ethic she’d shown all game but then inexplicably kicked the ball away after it had gone out of play ( something Arsenal had down in the first half with no penalty).

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016048This afforded the referee the opportunity to give her a second yellow followed by a red. With some 30 minutes left to play County were going to have to survive with one player less than Arsenal.

Notts then did an amazing job of resisting Arsenal’s attempts to draw level…

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016043

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016058

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016070

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016065

…. until the 81st minute when Arsenal’s Natalia Pablos Sanchon nodded in fellow substitute Katie McCabe’s cross to force extra time.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016055The cross loops up into the air…

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016056
… dropping conveniently for the Arsenal striker….
Wollaton Park wildlife 2016057
… to nod home.

To add to their troubles County then lost Captain Bradley-Auckland with an injury late in the half.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016053

County’s inspirational skipper exits the game.

Extra time was played out with Arsenal camped out outside the Notts 18 yard box but they could not force the winning goal.

And Notts may have snatched it with a counter attack.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016039

Jess Clarke bends the ball wide of the Arsenal far post.

But with the game at 2-2 the ref blew for full-time and penalties and even then the team’s couldn’t be separated; with 5 penalties taken and two saves from Veenendaal and Telford.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016023

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016117

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016116

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016115

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016114

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016113

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016112

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016111

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016110

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016109

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016108

But Arsenal’s McCabe struck the decider to put the Lady Pies out!

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016121

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016123

A tough defeat for Notts.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes from Carly Telford which I thought summed the game up pretty well:

She said: “It had everything. There were aggressive tackles going in, diving, there were some tantrums, a sending off, penalties, extra time. If you were watching that, you were thoroughly entertained I’d hope.

On the penalties: “When you’ve worked for 120 minutes and ran your little legs off, I said I wouldn’t have been surprised if all of them had missed.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down. It was a great performance.

“When you look at the players they’re bringing on, the internationals they’ve got stacked up on the bench, we’ve got to take a lot of heart from that.

“We’ve got to build on it and it might have been different if we’d had 11 on the pitch, but we’ll never know.”



Posted April 4, 2016 by Drew in Uncategorized

Notts County ease into FA Cup quarter finals!   Leave a comment

The Lady Pies breezed past WSL 2 outfit Durham on Sunday, running out 3-1 victors at Meadow Lane.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The new season has seen quite a few changes at Notts; Alex Greenwood has left for home and to play for Liverpool FC, Desi Scott has left for sunnier climes and Flint came and went within the space of a few months.

But on the credit side the club has signed Chelsea Weston from Birmingham, Australian international Aivi Luik from Melbourne City, Welsh International midfielder Angharad James from Bristol City,

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201633

Sweden international Maja Krantz and Megan Walsh the England U23 and ex Everton keeper.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201609

Then Notts sneakily dropped the bombshell that they’d signed Rachel Yankey on loan from Arsenal!

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201607

But possibly one of the best ‘signings’ of the season was the return from injury of England international Sophie Bradley!

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201603

Anyhoo… with that all out of the way let’s get on with the game…

A fit, happy and healthy Sophie Bradley-Auckland led out the Pies as Captain for her first game proper since her injury many moons ago….

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201601

…. and immediately started barking out the orders.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201604

‘Don’t stand there, stand here!’

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201606

Club nutritionist Matt Lawson (currently taking his FA Coaching badges) this week demonstrates ‘kicking the ball’ during the warm-ups…..

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201612

…. until assistant manager Colin Walker asked him to fetch him another pork pie.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201610

Strength coach Paul Campbell reassured new signing Rachel Yankey that pork pies are not the only food item on the pre-match menu.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201608

USN, the new drinks sponsor…. supplying liquidised pork pie concentrate.

 With the game underway Notts were looking to go one better than last season and win the damned thing and got off to a promising start with Williams header from a corner being blocked by Durham keeper Anderson.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201620

Rachel Williams heads down Buet’s corner ….

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201619

… and with only 17 Durham players on the line is unable to do profit from the rebound.

Meanwhile Rachel Yankey is pulling the creative strings in midfield and taking delicious left-footed in-swinging corners.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201615

Yankey: NCL FC new designated lefty.

Then with 15 minutes on the clock Williams and Notts were not to be denied! Sophie Bradly-Auckland (that’s a mouthful) flicked the ball into the path of Williams…

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201618

…. who fired home from inside the box!

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201617

Durham appeal for off-side as Rachel Williams scores.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201616

Rachel celebrates. Yep, that’s the celebration. Well, it’s early in the season.

Notts continued to create a lot of chances in the first half with Ellen white hustling and bustling everywhere and supplying the crossed from the right.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201613

White stretches the Durham defence.

Throughout the first half Rachel Yankey was giving a masterclass in midfield. Her deft and inventive touches were a wonder to behold. Something that County have lacked over recent seasons.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201646

Yankey become a fan’s favourite just after her first touch of the ball.

And it was therefore fitting that in the 29th minute a piquant pass from Yankey allowed Ellen White in on goal to slot home County’s second.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201636

White, the benefactor of Yankey’s ingenuity.

With the game seemingly under control assistant manager Colin Walker challenged Rick to a game of ‘spot the linesman’.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201638

Rick, no fool he, took only a few minutes to spot his first Linesman.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201634

Annoyed but Rick’s attentions the linesman awards a free-kick against Yankey for being too good.

Half-time came and went with the score at 2-0 Notts.

The crowd held their collective bated breath in anticipation of what new entertainments Matt (marketing meerkat) Rowland might unleash upon them during the break. But alas nothing! Popular rumour is that Rowland is keeping his powder dry for something truly spectacular for the first WSL League game at home! Can’t wait.

In the second half Durham put up a spirited fight but failed to threaten. Yankey kept pulling the strings and Notts came close several times.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201645

Rachel Yankey – the imperious impresario.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201640

Dani Buet shone.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201660

Amy Turner was solid at the back.

And then it was Jess Clarke’s turn to turn provider in the 55th minute to put the game to bed.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201632

She broke free down the right and slipped a ball inside for Rachel Williams….

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201631

… whom somehow brushed the ball with a first touch up and past the Durham Keeper without even looking!

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201630

Williams celebrates leaving the Durham defender wondering how she did that!

With the game pretty much over Ellen White found time to get hit in the head by a clearance which put her on the floor.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201650

Rachel Yankey’s excellent debut performance was met with rapturous applause when…

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201647

… she was substituted late on ….

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201656

… making way for Aileen Whealan.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201657

The boss appreciated her contribution.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201658

And everybody wanted a high-five.

Durham scored a consolation goal in the 76th minute and County saw out the remainder of the game on the front foot.

NCL FC vs Durham FA Cup 201661

So the Pies move into the last 8 of the FA Cup and switch their focus to Wednesday night’s game away against Man City.


2016 disclaimer: These words and pictures are mine. If I’ve made a mistake or mislead then this is my fault as this blog does not necessarily reflect the views of NCL FC or their sponsors. In fact Matt Roowland won’t even retweet it unless I spell his name correctly.

(C) Copyright Drew Smith Photography 2016.



Clinical County Confirm Conti Cup Spot!   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies eased into the final of the Continental Cup on Sunday, beating a dejected Liverpool side 2-0 on their own ‘turf’.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The Select Security Stadium, an artificial surface home venue shared by Everton Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Widnes Rugby Club, the Merseyside Women’s Institute and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, was the stage for the semi-final of the Continental Cup.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_38It’s lonely at the top! Early doors County CEO Luke Negus-Hill sees if the pitch will take a stud!

It was a tricky tie as County’s form had slipped during the second half of the season and Liverpool, reigning League Champions had experienced a ‘mare’ of a season, finishing just one spot above relegation.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_5The girls come out for the pre-game warm-up. Leanne (Scotland) Crichton leading the charge.

The ‘Staff’ congregate.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501“Looking good Rick!”, “Feelin’ good Colin!”

Liverpool Ladies Manager Matt Beard is set to leave Liverpool to take over as the boss of Boston Breakers in the USA’s National Women’s Soccer League.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_1Matt Beard, busy thinking about the USA, sits in the wrong dug-out. Paul Campbell forgets his glasses and has to have a pair drawn on with a ‘Sharpie’.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_42Jess Clarke and Desi Scott boogie on down!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_41Paul Campbell tells the photographer to get out of the bloody way! Not sure how he saw me.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_39

The scoreboard reads 0-0! But not for long! About 5 minutes actually.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_6

Colin Walkers informs County Captain Laura Bassett that he’s already lost 8lbs on his Pork Pie diet – Laura can’t quite believe it!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_2Paul Campbell has to feel his way around the pitch as his drawn on ‘Sharpie’ glasses are not performing well.

With the game about to kick off, the question was; could County lift themselves for this game?

The answer was a resounding YES!

In fact I think this was one of the best performances I’ve seen by the Pies all season.

They looked sharp and aggressive; closing down the largely lethargic Liverpool ladies and generally outplaying them in every department on the park. They competently snuffed out any signs of a Reds attack whilst creating chances of their own.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_24

And the game was only a few minutes old when Ellen White put County a goal up after….

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_58…. a Buet free-kick was nudged on by Laura Bassett and Ellen White nodded past the Liverpool keeper.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_59Ellen beats her marker to…

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_60… head home!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_63Get in! Back of the net!

The Lady Pies continued to look bright and business-like all over the park with Sophie Walton and Dani Buet having standout games.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_13Sophie Walton puts the pressure on!

In the 23rd Minute White added a second goal to put County 2-0 up!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_65Ellen White celebrates…. honestly!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_66There you go!

And that’s how the half finished.

The half-time entertainment looked suspiciously like Matt Rowland’s brand of entertainment. Maybe he’s franchised the concept.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_76Not Mrs Magpie but Liverpool’s Fish/Bird thing in goal!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_51I actually found fishbirdthing a little scary! Those predatory eyes and beak and lip licking grin!

Anyway…. the second half saw County continue where they’d left off, something they’ve failed to do on more than one occasion this season.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_67Rachel Williams came close….

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_71

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_72… more than once!

The team put a shift in and defended well when they lost possession and hit Liverpool quickly on the counter-attack. The score-line flattered Liverpool to be honest and I can only recall Carly Telford making one save.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_31Telford blocks a Dowie shots at close range!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_78Ellen in the mix again.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_30Desi shows total commitment! She was actually penalised for handball for this!:)

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_73Jess Clarke was as lively as ever.

The fans were fantastic at this game, outsinging the Liverpool fans, which is hard to do!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_33 - Copy

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_55Wait a minute… who’s that bottom right in with the Liverpool fans?

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_32Alex Greenwood battles with Natasha Dowie.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_21Dani Buet had one of her best games.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_25

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_80Rachel Williams runs down the clock…

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_81… on more than one occasion.

At the final whistle Notts ran out comfortable 2-0 winners and now take on Arsenal in the Final on Sunday the 1st of November in Rotherham.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_34Sophie Walton can hardly contain her excitement!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_35Rick is a little happier!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_40And we say goodbye to the Stadium of gloom for the last time!…

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_86… and wish Liverpool well on their own road to recovery from this season’s woes.

Wouldn’t it be nice to pick up some silverware this season! Make sure you are there to cheer the girls on in the final on Sunday the 1st of November at the rather beautiful Aesseal New York Stadium in Rotherham! COYP.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_36

(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’ last game of the regular season vs Manchester City   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies played their last game of the regular season against Manchester City at the Academy Stadium on Sunday going down 1-2.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

Arriving at the £200million City Football Academy Stadium it was hard not to be impressed; its snuggled in next to the Etihad stadium, separated only by a few hundred meters and a walk-way. The walk-way is carpeted in red ermine and waiters are available at regular intervals to offer glasses of Dom Perignon champagne and truffles.

NCL FC vs Man City01Palatial surrounds in the changing rooms, even the broom cupboard had a wide-screen TV.

It was difficult to not notice the difference between the two Clubs; they are as you’d expect when viewed in context of the money to which Manchester City have access. However, I think that providing a personal Butler for each City player was going a little too far.

NCL FC vs Man City01_1Individual seats for players in the changing room in a space that rivals Wembley.

And the women’s game seems poised at the moment on some invisible tipping-point; crowd attendance is up almost 50% on last season. TV coverage is up and public interest in the women’s game is also increasing.

NCL FC vs Man City01_54The subs ‘bench’ features vibrating seats with waitress service.

Newly promoted Doncaster Belles FC have announced this week that Carl and Faye Lygo are investing in a multi-million pound state-of-the-art training facility for the club, as well as providing finance for full-time, professional contracts to a number of its players. Chelsea and Arsenal are at the top of their game again and their parent clubs have deep pockets.

NCL FC vs Man City01_48Colin Walker content in the knowledge that he’s already stolen all the complimentary towels and chocolates from the ‘green room’.

There is a very real possibility that the FA WSL Div 1 will become a league of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. And currently Notts have not. County have a talented and capable squad and a back-room staff to match (although the photographer is a bit dodgy) and deserve to do well.

NCL FC vs Man City01_52Mascot number 3 seems to be very popular with the girls!

This season has been a bits of a game of two halves; certainly the team has ‘underachieved’ post FA Cup final, seeing them finish 5th in the league. Still with the semi-final of the Continental Cup only a couple of days away there is a last ‘hurrah’ waiting for them on the side-lines.

NCL FC vs Man City01_69Early doors Parris puts City 1-0 up as Harding and Bronze terrorise County down the right flank.

NCL FC vs Man City01_70She’s a happy camper!

NCL FC vs Man City01_73Jill Scott finds space. Lots of it.

NCL FC vs Man City01_58Rachel Williams equalizes with a trade-mark header just before half-time!

NCL FC vs Man City01_60See, told you she’d scored!

NCL FC vs Man City01_80But City take the lead again on the stroke of half-time through Isobel Christiansen !

NCL FC vs Man City01_79City played their usual brand of possession football but County had their moments too.

NCL FC vs Man City01_74Rachel Williams was as impressive as ever and it can only be a matter of time before an England call-up.

NCL FC vs Man City01_90So the season came to a close with yet another narrow defeat.

The Continental Cup semi-final beckons now against a dejected Liverpool side that could only manage to finish one place above relegated Bristol in the League. Does another Cup Final await the Lady Pies? Lets hope so. COYP!

You can see the League Table here:  FA WSL League Table

(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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 260 other followers

%d bloggers like this: