Penalty shoot-out puts Notts out of the FA Cup   Leave a comment

A trip to Boreham Wood for the quarter-final of the FA Cup ended in heartbreak for Notts as they exited the competition after a dramatic sudden death penalty shoot out!

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Here’s the game in words and pictures:

The trip down the motorway saw the talented Ladypies team leave the overcast skies of the conurbation of Nottingham and emerge into the sunnier climes of the outlying suburbs of London, to play Arsenal in the quarter-final of the FA Cup.

The day started with optimistic good cheer as Paul Campbell revealed his thicker, more luxuriant full set beard and moustache.

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Paul gives credit to Matt (‘the guy that can get stuff’) Rowland for supplying him with the ‘The Lover‘ British beard oil!

Joining the backroom coaching staff for the remainder of the season is Tanya Oxtoby.

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Tanya – the great and powerful Oz.

Rick’s fan club caught up with the great man before the game and asked him if he could show them his ball skills…..

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….. Rick obliged:

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The boy Passmoor shows the fans a clean pair of heels!

Carly Telford was back in goal for this game after Megan Walsh deputized for her against Man City last week, where she acquitted herself wonderfully well.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016084Pupil and Master.

The match officials….. unsuspecting of what was to unfold that afternoon.

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Linesman far left apparently won a silver rosette in last year’s ‘Beardy Boy 2015’ competition.

Arsenal FC set up shop. The offerings are somewhat sparse.

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3 mugs, 3 dodgy dinosaurs and a football. Makes the Notts County Club shop look like Aladdin’s cave!

Still, marketing mahout Matty Rowland couldn’t resist taking a pic of the set-up ….

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…. maybe this is all part of his master plan for the first home game half-time entertainment!

Bearby Boy rosette winner eye’s Paul Campbell’s full set!

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Paul plays it cool ……

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…. and pretends not to notice the admiring glance.

This is Arsenal’s version of Matt Rowland. A slightly younger, better looking, more media savvy, multi-tasking version.

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The Matty Rowland upgrade – now available at all good footballing outlets.

On with the game then. The girls lined up before kick-off.

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Sophie Bradly-Auckland shakes hands.

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County started the game by far the stronger with Williams, Buet, White and Clarke leading the charge.

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Rachel Williams attracts 3 defenders.

Then minutes later goes close with a header…

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….. and then even closer minutes later….

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….. before Crichton joins in and heads just wide. Realistically Notts could have been 3-0 up.

But against the run of play Kelly Smith broke the deadlock with a class strike, hitting a volley past Notts’ keeper Carly Telford.
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Smith makes it 1-0 to the Arse-er-nal! (notice the crowning of the pitch making photography problematic on occasion).
Arsenal celebrate….
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…. somewhere over the hill.
County and their fervent travelling fans only had to wait two minutes for an equaliser which came courtesy of Sophie Bradley-Auckland when she glanced in a Dani Buet’s free-kick.

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Sophie Bradley-Auckland celebrates her goal as the Arsenal player look on in abject despair.
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Crichton congratulates the County captain!
On 33 minutes County’s Aivi Luik made it 2-1 Notts! Ellen White challenged Arsenal Keeper Veenendaal from a Buet free-kick.
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Veenendaal punches under pressure.

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And the ball drops kindly for County defender Luik to pounce.

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Notts’ number 3 makes it 2.

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Or does she? The referee seems to have disallowed the goal.

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But wait…. no, he’s given it! 2-1 Notts.

From this point on some of the Arsenal players began to ‘lose the plot’. Tackles flew in and tempers flared.

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The Arsenal player clearly goes through the player….

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… but no booking.

But Ellen Whit’s attempted block….

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… gets a yellow from the ref!

Arsenal seemed to be on the verge of imploding. The ref turned down two dubious appeals for penalties…

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Kelly Smith seemed to be actively hunting a yellow card for dissent.

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… time and time again.

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And finally got what she deserved. I think Dani Buet was making a valid comment here. 🙂

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The referee was under siege at various points.

As Smith seemed intent on showing everybody how to behave like a petulant child ….

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… Laura Jayne O’Neil showed her how to behave with class even though she’d been fouled.

Half-time came and went but the game continued where it had left off with both sides playing good football but always seeming as if they were on the edge of a ‘biff zone’.

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And then horror of horror Notts went down to 10 players!

White already on a yellow chased down a ball with the ruthless determination and work ethic she’d shown all game but then inexplicably kicked the ball away after it had gone out of play ( something Arsenal had down in the first half with no penalty).

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016048This afforded the referee the opportunity to give her a second yellow followed by a red. With some 30 minutes left to play County were going to have to survive with one player less than Arsenal.

Notts then did an amazing job of resisting Arsenal’s attempts to draw level…

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…. until the 81st minute when Arsenal’s Natalia Pablos Sanchon nodded in fellow substitute Katie McCabe’s cross to force extra time.

Wollaton Park wildlife 2016055The cross loops up into the air…

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… dropping conveniently for the Arsenal striker….
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… to nod home.

To add to their troubles County then lost Captain Bradley-Auckland with an injury late in the half.

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County’s inspirational skipper exits the game.

Extra time was played out with Arsenal camped out outside the Notts 18 yard box but they could not force the winning goal.

And Notts may have snatched it with a counter attack.

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Jess Clarke bends the ball wide of the Arsenal far post.

But with the game at 2-2 the ref blew for full-time and penalties and even then the team’s couldn’t be separated; with 5 penalties taken and two saves from Veenendaal and Telford.

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But Arsenal’s McCabe struck the decider to put the Lady Pies out!

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A tough defeat for Notts.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes from Carly Telford which I thought summed the game up pretty well:

She said: “It had everything. There were aggressive tackles going in, diving, there were some tantrums, a sending off, penalties, extra time. If you were watching that, you were thoroughly entertained I’d hope.

On the penalties: “When you’ve worked for 120 minutes and ran your little legs off, I said I wouldn’t have been surprised if all of them had missed.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down. It was a great performance.

“When you look at the players they’re bringing on, the internationals they’ve got stacked up on the bench, we’ve got to take a lot of heart from that.

“We’ve got to build on it and it might have been different if we’d had 11 on the pitch, but we’ll never know.”




Posted April 4, 2016 by Drew in Uncategorized

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