County sucker-punched by Birmingham in their last home game!   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies played their last home game against second from bottom Birmingham City Ladies on Sunday. Unfortunately the chance to thank the 1,300+ home crowd at Meadow Lane for such tremendous season long support with a victory slipped away in the 86th minute.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_48

It was a cloudy yet sunny day. Already Matt Rowland was having trouble communicating the ins and outs of ‘ball person’ duties to his charges:

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_55

Matt explains the delicacies of ball retrieval but has already lost some of his audience.

Meanwhile the home crowd settle in with a sing-song…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_66

… ‘One for sorry, two for joy…’

Kick-off then and County set about Birmingham with real Zing and Zest.

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_74

Greenwood with room to attack down the left flank was a thorn in City’s side.

The first half omens were good; County were well organised, confident and stamped their authority on the game from the start….

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_11

… they dominated their opponents in all departments, possession, passing, tackling and chances on goal.

The first 45 minutes saw the Pies shoot wide…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_74

… shoot high…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_92

… hit the bar

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_81

… and hit the post twice.

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_75

Even to the most hardened Birmingham fan it looked like only a matter of time before County opened the scoring and went on to a convincing win!

In other news the ball-girls were following Matt’s orders to the letter…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_6… and having fun covering each other in side-line dirt! 🙂

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_7As ordered they paid close attention to what was happening in the game…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_21

… and were prepared at any second to retrieve the ball and throw it back to the players to keep the game flowing! 🙂

The half-time whistle went with the score somehow still at 0-0! But there was no break in the excitement as ‘Win the raffle and kick the ball in the goal with varying rules to win a random prize’ competition began!

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_83Matt Rowland asks the victim lucky winner if he understands the ‘rules’

 NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_85… his response was that he didn’t know there were any rules!

Mrs Magpie was unavailable for goal-keeping duties.

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_84

And when Matt was sure everybody was bemused by what was going on, he stopped the competition…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_86… and awarded the prizes to the overjoyed winner!

Fortunately the second-half came to the rescue!

But unfortunately Rick Passmoor sent out 11 different players for the second period.

Not sure who they were but they were not the players that so overwhelmed Birmingham in the first half.

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_4

Passes went astray as possession was given away cheaply, chances on goal diminished…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_29

… and Birmingham were allowed a foothold in a game that County should have wrapped up in the first 45 minutes.

Even the ref felt an injustice on the cards…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_22… and kindly blocked Potter from getting to the ball.

County’s frustrations were obvious!

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_34

But even the ref and the County defense were seemingly helpless to prevent Birmingham from stealing all 3 points.

A Karen Carney corner looped into the Notts box and was met by Harrop  who guided the ball past Carly Telford…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_35

… and in to the back of the net to put Birmingham 1-0 up with just a few minutes to play.

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_36

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_38

County threw the ball forward then …

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_3

… but shots on goal were either wide of the mark…

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_94

… or saved by the Birmingham keeper!

And that was it.

Game over!

A disappointing end to the final home game of the season.

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_42

That leaves just one game to play away this Sunday at Manchester City!

NCL FC vs Birmingham home 2015001_62

And of course the Semi-Final of the Continental Cup against Liverpool

So…. all to play for!

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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