Notts County ease into FA Cup quarter finals!   Leave a comment

The Lady Pies breezed past WSL 2 outfit Durham on Sunday, running out 3-1 victors at Meadow Lane.

Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The new season has seen quite a few changes at Notts; Alex Greenwood has left for home and to play for Liverpool FC, Desi Scott has left for sunnier climes and Flint came and went within the space of a few months.

But on the credit side the club has signed Chelsea Weston from Birmingham, Australian international Aivi Luik from Melbourne City, Welsh International midfielder Angharad James from Bristol City,

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Sweden international Maja Krantz and Megan Walsh the England U23 and ex Everton keeper.

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Then Notts sneakily dropped the bombshell that they’d signed Rachel Yankey on loan from Arsenal!

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But possibly one of the best ‘signings’ of the season was the return from injury of England international Sophie Bradley!

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Anyhoo… with that all out of the way let’s get on with the game…

A fit, happy and healthy Sophie Bradley-Auckland led out the Pies as Captain for her first game proper since her injury many moons ago….

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…. and immediately started barking out the orders.

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‘Don’t stand there, stand here!’

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Club nutritionist Matt Lawson (currently taking his FA Coaching badges) this week demonstrates ‘kicking the ball’ during the warm-ups…..

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…. until assistant manager Colin Walker asked him to fetch him another pork pie.

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Strength coach Paul Campbell reassured new signing Rachel Yankey that pork pies are not the only food item on the pre-match menu.

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USN, the new drinks sponsor…. supplying liquidised pork pie concentrate.

 With the game underway Notts were looking to go one better than last season and win the damned thing and got off to a promising start with Williams header from a corner being blocked by Durham keeper Anderson.

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Rachel Williams heads down Buet’s corner ….

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… and with only 17 Durham players on the line is unable to do profit from the rebound.

Meanwhile Rachel Yankey is pulling the creative strings in midfield and taking delicious left-footed in-swinging corners.

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Yankey: NCL FC new designated lefty.

Then with 15 minutes on the clock Williams and Notts were not to be denied! Sophie Bradly-Auckland (that’s a mouthful) flicked the ball into the path of Williams…

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…. who fired home from inside the box!

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Durham appeal for off-side as Rachel Williams scores.

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Rachel celebrates. Yep, that’s the celebration. Well, it’s early in the season.

Notts continued to create a lot of chances in the first half with Ellen white hustling and bustling everywhere and supplying the crossed from the right.

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White stretches the Durham defence.

Throughout the first half Rachel Yankey was giving a masterclass in midfield. Her deft and inventive touches were a wonder to behold. Something that County have lacked over recent seasons.

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Yankey become a fan’s favourite just after her first touch of the ball.

And it was therefore fitting that in the 29th minute a piquant pass from Yankey allowed Ellen White in on goal to slot home County’s second.

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White, the benefactor of Yankey’s ingenuity.

With the game seemingly under control assistant manager Colin Walker challenged Rick to a game of ‘spot the linesman’.

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Rick, no fool he, took only a few minutes to spot his first Linesman.

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Annoyed but Rick’s attentions the linesman awards a free-kick against Yankey for being too good.

Half-time came and went with the score at 2-0 Notts.

The crowd held their collective bated breath in anticipation of what new entertainments Matt (marketing meerkat) Rowland might unleash upon them during the break. But alas nothing! Popular rumour is that Rowland is keeping his powder dry for something truly spectacular for the first WSL League game at home! Can’t wait.

In the second half Durham put up a spirited fight but failed to threaten. Yankey kept pulling the strings and Notts came close several times.

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Rachel Yankey – the imperious impresario.

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Dani Buet shone.

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Amy Turner was solid at the back.

And then it was Jess Clarke’s turn to turn provider in the 55th minute to put the game to bed.

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She broke free down the right and slipped a ball inside for Rachel Williams….

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… whom somehow brushed the ball with a first touch up and past the Durham Keeper without even looking!

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Williams celebrates leaving the Durham defender wondering how she did that!

With the game pretty much over Ellen White found time to get hit in the head by a clearance which put her on the floor.

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Rachel Yankey’s excellent debut performance was met with rapturous applause when…

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… she was substituted late on ….

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… making way for Aileen Whealan.

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The boss appreciated her contribution.

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And everybody wanted a high-five.

Durham scored a consolation goal in the 76th minute and County saw out the remainder of the game on the front foot.

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So the Pies move into the last 8 of the FA Cup and switch their focus to Wednesday night’s game away against Man City.


2016 disclaimer: These words and pictures are mine. If I’ve made a mistake or mislead then this is my fault as this blog does not necessarily reflect the views of NCL FC or their sponsors. In fact Matt Roowland won’t even retweet it unless I spell his name correctly.

(C) Copyright Drew Smith Photography 2016.




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