Notts County Ladies vs Oxford Ladies – Continental Cup   1 comment

Notts County returned to winning ways last night after their defeat to Everton in the semi final of the FA Cup by putting 4 past Oxford in the Continental Cup. It was a scrappy affair played on a very uneven pitch that had more bounce than Tigger. And whilst fans may have expected a bigger scoreline, with Notts top of the FAWSL and Oxford bottom of Division 2, the girls put in a workman-like shift to come away with all 3 points.

Notts County Ladies vs Oxford entrance

Oxford tried to sneak two unsigned players on to the park but the match officials spotted them as they came out on to the pitch – just as well too, as those two would have caused serious problems in the box with their height!

Notts County Ladies vs Oxford handshake

5 by 5! Captains Sahara Osborne-Ricketts (Oxford) and Sophie Bradley (Notts) shake hands before kick-off.

Notts County Ladies vs Oxford TIDs & SUEs

Stalwart Pies supporters TIDS and SUES (jeez – I hope I got those names right, they’ll kill me otherwise) look on whilst predicting an 8 goal bonanza pre-match.

The game kicked off with Notts doing all the pressing and Oxford doing all the chasing down. With confident ball being played across the back and down the flanks Notts probed for an early goal. The following few minutes saw County fire numerous shots goal-wards only to see them blocked as Oxford threw bodies in front of the ball. The best chance came to Caitlin Friend when a cross found her unmarked at the back post but she was unable to connect cleanly with the ball and scuffed it wide.

Just before the half hour good work from Corsie and Clarke saw a ball fired in to the near post and this time 22 Caitlin Friend made no mistake to open the scoring for Notts.

Notts County Ladies Caitlin Friend

Notice how I’ve skilfully managed to photograph Caitlin scoring Notts’ first goal without having the ball in shot! Her Dad will kill me.

A frustrating period followed for Notts as they failed to improve on the lead. In fact Oxford had one or two chances that might have drawn them level. County continued to have the better of the game and saw numerous shots fly wide or over the bar but went in at half time just the one goal to the good.

Notts County Ladies Jess flies

Jess Clarke flies down the wing!

Notts County Ladies Pies fans

Pies supporters fly the flag.

Notts County Ladies vs Oxford TV

Best seat in the house! The FAWSL were in attendance. I wonder if they ever did get that interview with Dunia Susi?

The second half resumed with the sun dipping below the horizon and the Oxford (Abington Town FC) floodlights coming on. Unfortunately they seemed to be powered by AA batteries. Notts seemed to increase the speed with which they passed the ball in this half and consistently found space behind the Oxford full backs. With only a few minutes played in the second half County bagged their second goal when Katie Holtham nodded down an Emily Roberts’ free kick for Jess Clarke to poke the ball home in the resulting melee.

Notts County Ladies Jess goal

Katie Holtham rises to the occasion to head the ball goal-wards.

Notts County Ladies Jess goal 02

Jess Clarke (she’s in there somewhere honest) gets to the ball first to poke home Notts second goal. Rachel Corsie (12) celebrates. In fact this is probably the most extravagant celebration I’ve seen all season!

Minutes later another swinging cross and a nod down led to a save by the Oxford keeper that Jess Clarke pounced on to head home only to see the goal ruled out by the officials for some infraction in the box.

Notts County Ladies Jess goal disallowed

Goalie stranded Jess heads in to an empty net but the Referee said ‘No’.

The game had now settled in to a pattern – with Notts on the rampage looking to increase their lead and Oxford back peddling and defending gallantly but desperately. And it was only a matter of time before Notts added to their tally when Roberts swung in yet another free kick from out wide and this time Jess Clarke steered a powerful header past Hannah Cox in the Oxford goal.

Notts County Ladies Jess scores

Clarke scores Notts third goal.

At this point one began to fear for Oxford and it looked like TIDS’ prediction of 8 goals might become reality as a minute or two later Aileen Whelan got on the score sheet. Jess Clarke beat her defender to clip a ball to the back post where Aileen Whelan was lurking. She made no mistake form 3 yards out and put Notts 4-0 up.

Notts County Ladies vs Oxford Aileen Whelan scores

Number 20 Aileen Whelan nets for Notts.

And that was it. I sat there expecting a flurry of goals (strange expression) but they didn’t come. I also expected Oxford to run out of steam in the last 15 minutes too, but that didn’t happen either. In fact they gave a very good account of themselves against their lofty opponents. So the final whistle went with no further goals to add and County maintained their unbeaten run in the competition and  bounced back from their defeat to Everton like good little Tiggers.

I wonder if FAWSL ever did get that interview with Dunia Susi?

Notts County Ladies vs Oxford Dunia susi interview

 

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One response to “Notts County Ladies vs Oxford Ladies – Continental Cup

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  1. Hi Drew. It’s Tid and Sal ( stalwart pies fans) We won’t kill you for getting it wrong this time lol. But please get it right for today’s photo. Great photo though. Started following you now. See you at Chelsea

    Like

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