Notts County Ladies vs Manchester City Ladies   Leave a comment

In undeniably one of the most exciting games played at Meadow Lane this season – the Lady Pies, urged on by almost 2,000 fanatical supporters, come back from 0-2 down to draw against Manchester City in stoppage time!

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

Prior to the start of the game County CEO supremo Luke Negus-Hill is questioned by an agent from the Matrix.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_1Luke Negus-Hill…. deciding whether or not to squeal.

Mrs Magpie (is she married then? If so, does she have a stay-at-home husband-pie?) photo bombs the ball girls pic.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_53Hee hee – cheeky grins and scabby knees abound.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_73

The City girls out on the pitch react with incredulity at the dress sense of some of the Pies supporters….

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_9….. Vogue.

The County fans; simply…….

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_20… THE BEST!

The Notts girls warm up ahead of one of the sternest tests the season has to offer in the form of their well-heeled opponents Manchester City.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_2Jessica Clarke leads the charge … has she done something different with her hair?

In another Negus-Hill initiative the County board agreed to keeping chickens on the Meadow Lane pitch in between games…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_19… the grounds keeper starts putting down the chicken feed a little early … tandoori Chicken Pies are now on the half-time Meadow Lane menu.

Return of the Matt! The County nutritionist spent the summer in the USA coaching ‘little league alligator racing’ in the Everglades.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_13Matt Lawson, tempted back to Blighty by the club, who offered him a lucrative ‘tandoori Chicken’ based deal.

Keeper Coach Bob Widdowson looks on enviously at Matt Lawson …

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_7

Then reassures ‘Mr Ball’ that he’ll demand talks with the management for the same deal as Lawson.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_5Siobahn Chamberlain leaves Bob to it.

Meanwhile a game of football is about to start.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_23Keen, young and eager to get started…. the match day officials.

Laura Bassett waits patiently to get underway…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_24

… but City are talking things at their own pace despite the ref’s whistles they continue to warm-up…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_25

… until eventually City skipper Houghton jogs over to toss the coin of footballing destiny.

Game on (at last) and City start on the front foot but County apply pressure down the left flank (look at that support)…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_47Rachel (can’t take a bad photo of me) Williams finds space in behind the City defense…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_48.. and gets to the line.

It would be misleading of me to say that County had the better of the first half, City played some quality football in a game where no quarter was asked or given..

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_28

… Clarke challenges Bardsley for the ball as Houghton protests.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_32

The ref steps in (as he did quite often) to calm things down.

City’s quality and final ball really put Notts under pressure and on more than one occasion County keeper Telford kept her team in the game…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_94.. Telford saves from Parris at point-blank range.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_100Carly Telford…. easily the best and unfortunately the most frequently employed goalie on the pitch.

But just as it seemed the Pies would see out the 1st half on equal terms Steph Houghton drifted in at the back post and side-footed home past the valiant but vain attempted blocks from White and Crichton.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_120City go 1-0 up!

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_124City celebrate scoring.

Half-time then and the spectators were faced with the dilemma of either grabbing refreshments or staying in their seats for Matt (PT Barnum) Rowland’s half-time entertainment extravaganza!

First off Matt had Mrs Magpie throw heated white towels into the crowd to use after eating their tandoori chicken.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_52Is there a name for those hot little towels? Are they o-shibori ?

Next was the now almost legendary raffle and ‘kick-the-ball-in-the-net-and-win-a-random-prize’ competition. The evening’s winner was Mr West Coast Choppers!

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_54‘shoes!’

This choice of raffle ‘winner’ caused some controversy as Matt Rowland is also well-known as a member of this notorious motor cycle gang.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_56

I have no words!

The second half resumed with the worst possible start for the home team after a free kick was awarded against them on the edge of the box. Steph Houghton stepped up with relish and struck the ball superbly….

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_132… to beat the wall and Carly Telford and put City 2-0 up!

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_133

Unstoppable.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_135

Houghton wheels away to her dugout to celebrate her goal!

The second half remained a competitive affair but City always looked the slicker outfit whilst Notts seemed to struggle to find a pass that would unlock the City defense.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_138

Huff and puff from County.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_140with much endevour.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_106and fighting spirit.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_118City’s Jill Scott out jumps everybody.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_58

Aileen Whelan dons a pair of comedy ears. But County’s inability to breach the Manchester defense was no joke with just 10 minutes left on the clock it seemed a home defeat was on the cards.

And then the tide began to turn….

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_59… Desi Scott, who’d had a brilliantly determined game, picked up the ball on the edge of the City box and hit a shot that was deflected by City’s Lucy Bronze’s hand or arm (who cares) – the referee took a moment to consider his decision and then blew for a penalty!

Clarke is poised… Jill Scott can’t look and strangely sits this one out.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_61

Clarke crashes the ball into the top of the net! County half the deficit.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_64

And the girls can’t get back to restart the game quickly enough.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_66

The crowd was in uproar, urging on their team to do the impossible with only a few minutes of regular time left.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_102But time was running out and City were in no mood to accommodate County’s need for urgency. The clock ticked down. Regular time had run out. Only 4 minutes of stoppage time could now save the Pies and that was rapidly disappearing, when….

… Rachel Williams picked up a clearance….

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_145

… turned on the after-burners and left the City defense standing to bear down on keeper Bardsley…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_147

.. and with just the keeper to beat she dinks it past the outstretched arms and legs of Karen Bardsley with… aplomb.. to make it 2-2!

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_149

Williams celebrates her equaliser and sends the home support into raptures of delight.

The remaining few seconds were played out before the referee blew for full-time.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_153

Clarke and Williams test the tensile strength of the new kit.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_163Desi Scott can’t believe how tough the fabric is and grabs Williams’ shirt just to make sure.

Rachel Williams demonstrates to Carly Telford how she ‘dinked’ the ball past Bardsley.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_161

But Bob Widdowson is having none of it and reminds Williams who it was that showed her how to finish like that…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_164

Bob demonstrates the ‘dink’…

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_166… whilst Matt Lawson licks his lips and thinks about chicken.

And finally….. Matt Rowland refuses fans requests at the end of the game to ‘swap’ jerseys.

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_168

… and  finally, finally …

NCL FC vs Man City - FA WSL 23.08.2015001_69

… back to the fans! Long may the inclusive nature of the FA WSL continue. 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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Posted August 24, 2015 by Drew in Uncategorized

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