Notts County Ladies vs Bristol   Leave a comment

Bristol Academy came to Meadow Lane winless and bottom of the league and left with all 3 points!

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

It’s not Wembley but the ‘usual suspects’ were flying the flag anyway.

NCLFC vs Bristol - Copy

The loyal and ever-present Lady Pies fans.

New sponsors NXT Nutrition use NCL FC strength & conditioning coach Paul Campbell as their test pilot for the new ‘Popeye’ Spinach flavoured energy drinks.

NCLFC vs Bristol_1 - CopyPaul (Popeye) Campbell at work.

Jess Clarke fastens her shooting boots and puts Siobahn Chamberlain to the test in the warm-up.

NCLFC vs Bristol_3 - Copy Get in there!

Having been asked for clarification one too many times; Matt (Overlord) Rowland points out to the ballgirls just where they need to go!

NCLFC vs Bristol_6 - CopyMatt with his plastic ‘Actionman’ walkie-talkie strapped to his snake belt. He was never like this before going to Wembley!

Dunia Susi takes the remaining 3 Spinach flavoured drinks away from Paul Campbell ….

NCLFC vs Bristol_4 - Copy… as she watches him swing from the rafters in the Main Stand.

The match kicked-off with County on the attack from the off – with Clarke causing the Bristol defense problems from the start.

NCLFC vs Bristol_7 - CopyClarke puts pressure on Keeper Earps.

County kept the pressure on the Bristol goal and moments later more good work from Clarke down the left saw Susi shoots just wide from the cross.

NCLFC vs Bristol_11Dunia Susi side-foots just wide for County.

As chances came thick and fast it was Ellen White’s turn to go close as she met a ball in from the right with her head.

NCLFC vs Bristol_8Keeper Earps can only watch as the ball flashes past her left-hand post.

And then chance conspired to create a goal against the run of play; the County defense gave the ball away just outside their box and a shot from Bristol was deflected up into the air and was met on it’s return to Earth by Boho-Sayo who looped a header over the helpless Carly Telford.

NCLFC vs Bristol_46Telford is left stranded.

NCLFC vs Bristol_48Bristol celebrate.

NCLFC vs Bristol_49County go a goal behind against the run of play.

Half time and the rain began to fall and Notts returned to the field to continue to lay seige to the Academy goal.

NCLFC vs Bristol_34Scott was dominating the middle of the park.

Bassett was uncompromising at the back!

NCLFC vs Bristol_42

County again started to create chances and Clarke was making her own … going on a mazey run…

NCLFC vs Bristol_22

… before shooting wide.

NCLFC vs Bristol_23

Moments later Ellen White was in on goal again only to have her shot blocked by a last minute desperate lunge by a Bristol Defender.

NCLFC vs Bristol_20

White denied!

County were creating chance after chance and went close again when Susi met a cross to hit the post.

NCLFC vs Bristol_18

Dunia Susi hits the post and County still can’t find the net!

NCLFC vs Bristol_19So close for Susi and Notts.

County finally get the ball in the back of the net when Aileen Whelan runs on to a loose ball…

NCLFC vs Bristol_13

… and slots the ball into the top corner as Earps watches on!

 NCLFC vs Bristol_14Whelan turn to celebrate…

NCLFC vs Bristol_15… but the ref’s assistant rules it off-side.

Time is running out for Notts who could quite easily have been 3 goals ahead by now.

Then with only minutes left to play the ball runs loose again in the Bristol box and finds its way to Laura Bassett…

NCLFC vs Bristol_27

… from just outside the 6 yard box Bassett swing and connects to send the ball screaming towards goal! Surely this is the equaliser for Notts that earns them a point….

NCLFC vs Bristol_29… the crowd holds it’s breath only to watch as the ball rises over the Bristol crossbar and into the stands! There’s a collective groan from the 1,000 plus crowd!

Moments later the referee blows for full-time and County are defeated and Bristol Academy celebrate their first win of the season.

NCLFC vs Bristol_66

County manager Rick Passmoor has some thinking to do.

NCLFC vs Bristol_67

It wasn’t unexpected that after the defeat in the FA Cup final at Wembley the NCL FC players would be phyiscially exhausted but it is also the mental exhaustion that can be so draining after such an occasion. Tonight’s game against Bristol was always going to be a phycological challenge for the girls.

And in the end the game was decided by a matter of inches; a few inches inside the post instead of outside and a few inches onside instead offside would have made the diffenerce. That’s all there was in it. But that’s football.

With a much needed weekend off  County’s ‘bounce-back-ability’ will be put to the test against the very same opponents on Meadow Lane on Sunday the 16th. Make sure you’re there to get behind the team!

COYP!

(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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