Notts County Ladies vs Arsenal Ladies – late drama at the Lane!   2 comments

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…

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… 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.

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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?)…

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… 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.

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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…

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… 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…

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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…

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

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… 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.

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GOAL NOTTS!

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

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

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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…

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… 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.

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White shoves Scott…

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

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

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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…

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Jess Clarke ran tirelessly.

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

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… composure was kept…

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… and work rate was maintained.

The time…

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.. 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.

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Ubogagu fans the flames…

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

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… strikes a shot toward the Notts goal…

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.. 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.

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Rick was not a happy bunny at times…

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

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…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.

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2 responses to “Notts County Ladies vs Arsenal Ladies – late drama at the Lane!

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  1. Excellent blog once again Thanks very much for bringing the report to life with story telling images that are underpinned by a streak of humour

    Like

  2. Excellent pictures, thanks. Worldie of a free-kick. This was a pretty iconic game!

    Like

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