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.

19Apr2015_0120

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.

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