Notts County Ladies’ last game of the regular season vs Manchester City   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies played their last game of the regular season against Manchester City at the Academy Stadium on Sunday going down 1-2.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

Arriving at the £200million City Football Academy Stadium it was hard not to be impressed; its snuggled in next to the Etihad stadium, separated only by a few hundred meters and a walk-way. The walk-way is carpeted in red ermine and waiters are available at regular intervals to offer glasses of Dom Perignon champagne and truffles.

NCL FC vs Man City01Palatial surrounds in the changing rooms, even the broom cupboard had a wide-screen TV.

It was difficult to not notice the difference between the two Clubs; they are as you’d expect when viewed in context of the money to which Manchester City have access. However, I think that providing a personal Butler for each City player was going a little too far.

NCL FC vs Man City01_1Individual seats for players in the changing room in a space that rivals Wembley.

And the women’s game seems poised at the moment on some invisible tipping-point; crowd attendance is up almost 50% on last season. TV coverage is up and public interest in the women’s game is also increasing.

NCL FC vs Man City01_54The subs ‘bench’ features vibrating seats with waitress service.

Newly promoted Doncaster Belles FC have announced this week that Carl and Faye Lygo are investing in a multi-million pound state-of-the-art training facility for the club, as well as providing finance for full-time, professional contracts to a number of its players. Chelsea and Arsenal are at the top of their game again and their parent clubs have deep pockets.

NCL FC vs Man City01_48Colin Walker content in the knowledge that he’s already stolen all the complimentary towels and chocolates from the ‘green room’.

There is a very real possibility that the FA WSL Div 1 will become a league of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’. And currently Notts have not. County have a talented and capable squad and a back-room staff to match (although the photographer is a bit dodgy) and deserve to do well.

NCL FC vs Man City01_52Mascot number 3 seems to be very popular with the girls!

This season has been a bits of a game of two halves; certainly the team has ‘underachieved’ post FA Cup final, seeing them finish 5th in the league. Still with the semi-final of the Continental Cup only a couple of days away there is a last ‘hurrah’ waiting for them on the side-lines.

NCL FC vs Man City01_69Early doors Parris puts City 1-0 up as Harding and Bronze terrorise County down the right flank.

NCL FC vs Man City01_70She’s a happy camper!

NCL FC vs Man City01_73Jill Scott finds space. Lots of it.

NCL FC vs Man City01_58Rachel Williams equalizes with a trade-mark header just before half-time!

NCL FC vs Man City01_60See, told you she’d scored!

NCL FC vs Man City01_80But City take the lead again on the stroke of half-time through Isobel Christiansen !

NCL FC vs Man City01_79City played their usual brand of possession football but County had their moments too.

NCL FC vs Man City01_74Rachel Williams was as impressive as ever and it can only be a matter of time before an England call-up.

NCL FC vs Man City01_90So the season came to a close with yet another narrow defeat.

The Continental Cup semi-final beckons now against a dejected Liverpool side that could only manage to finish one place above relegated Bristol in the League. Does another Cup Final await the Lady Pies? Lets hope so. COYP!

You can see the League Table here:  FA WSL League Table

(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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