Clinical County Confirm Conti Cup Spot!   Leave a comment

Notts County Ladies eased into the final of the Continental Cup on Sunday, beating a dejected Liverpool side 2-0 on their own ‘turf’.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The Select Security Stadium, an artificial surface home venue shared by Everton Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Widnes Rugby Club, the Merseyside Women’s Institute and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, was the stage for the semi-final of the Continental Cup.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_38It’s lonely at the top! Early doors County CEO Luke Negus-Hill sees if the pitch will take a stud!

It was a tricky tie as County’s form had slipped during the second half of the season and Liverpool, reigning League Champions had experienced a ‘mare’ of a season, finishing just one spot above relegation.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_5The girls come out for the pre-game warm-up. Leanne (Scotland) Crichton leading the charge.

The ‘Staff’ congregate.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501“Looking good Rick!”, “Feelin’ good Colin!”

Liverpool Ladies Manager Matt Beard is set to leave Liverpool to take over as the boss of Boston Breakers in the USA’s National Women’s Soccer League.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_1Matt Beard, busy thinking about the USA, sits in the wrong dug-out. Paul Campbell forgets his glasses and has to have a pair drawn on with a ‘Sharpie’.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_42Jess Clarke and Desi Scott boogie on down!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_41Paul Campbell tells the photographer to get out of the bloody way! Not sure how he saw me.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_39

The scoreboard reads 0-0! But not for long! About 5 minutes actually.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_6

Colin Walkers informs County Captain Laura Bassett that he’s already lost 8lbs on his Pork Pie diet – Laura can’t quite believe it!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_2Paul Campbell has to feel his way around the pitch as his drawn on ‘Sharpie’ glasses are not performing well.

With the game about to kick off, the question was; could County lift themselves for this game?

The answer was a resounding YES!

In fact I think this was one of the best performances I’ve seen by the Pies all season.

They looked sharp and aggressive; closing down the largely lethargic Liverpool ladies and generally outplaying them in every department on the park. They competently snuffed out any signs of a Reds attack whilst creating chances of their own.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_24

And the game was only a few minutes old when Ellen White put County a goal up after….

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_58…. a Buet free-kick was nudged on by Laura Bassett and Ellen White nodded past the Liverpool keeper.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_59Ellen beats her marker to…

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_60… head home!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_63Get in! Back of the net!

The Lady Pies continued to look bright and business-like all over the park with Sophie Walton and Dani Buet having standout games.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_13Sophie Walton puts the pressure on!

In the 23rd Minute White added a second goal to put County 2-0 up!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_65Ellen White celebrates…. honestly!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_66There you go!

And that’s how the half finished.

The half-time entertainment looked suspiciously like Matt Rowland’s brand of entertainment. Maybe he’s franchised the concept.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_76Not Mrs Magpie but Liverpool’s Fish/Bird thing in goal!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_51I actually found fishbirdthing a little scary! Those predatory eyes and beak and lip licking grin!

Anyway…. the second half saw County continue where they’d left off, something they’ve failed to do on more than one occasion this season.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_67Rachel Williams came close….

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_71

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_72… more than once!

The team put a shift in and defended well when they lost possession and hit Liverpool quickly on the counter-attack. The score-line flattered Liverpool to be honest and I can only recall Carly Telford making one save.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_31Telford blocks a Dowie shots at close range!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_78Ellen in the mix again.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_30Desi shows total commitment! She was actually penalised for handball for this! 🙂

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_73Jess Clarke was as lively as ever.

The fans were fantastic at this game, outsinging the Liverpool fans, which is hard to do!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_33 - Copy

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_55Wait a minute… who’s that bottom right in with the Liverpool fans?

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_32Alex Greenwood battles with Natasha Dowie.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_21Dani Buet had one of her best games.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_25

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_80Rachel Williams runs down the clock…

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_81… on more than one occasion.

At the final whistle Notts ran out comfortable 2-0 winners and now take on Arsenal in the Final on Sunday the 1st of November in Rotherham.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_34Sophie Walton can hardly contain her excitement!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_35Rick is a little happier!

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_40And we say goodbye to the Stadium of gloom for the last time!…

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_86… and wish Liverpool well on their own road to recovery from this season’s woes.

Wouldn’t it be nice to pick up some silverware this season! Make sure you are there to cheer the girls on in the final on Sunday the 1st of November at the rather beautiful Aesseal New York Stadium in Rotherham! COYP.

NCL FC vs Liverpool Conti Cup semi 201501_36

(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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