Beaten finalists last season, Linby-based NOTTS COUNTY LADIES DEVELOPMENT survived a scare to reach the last eight of the Notts FA Women’s County Cup.
County were expected to sweep to victory against Mansfield Hosiery Mills, who are struggling near the foot of the same division in the East Midlands Women’s League.
But they fell behind to an early goal on the counter and ended up hanging on for a 3-2 triumph in a nervy finale.
April Bingham levelled for County with a shot into the top corner after receiving a pass from Robyn Henton. And just before the break, Courtney Walters smashed a penalty into the roof of the net when Lauren Yeomans was brought down.
Two minutes into the second period, Henton thumped home number three from the edge of the area. But despite creating plenty of chances, they failed to add to their tally and allowed Hosiery Mills back into it ten minutes from the end with a controversial spot-kick, harshly awarded for handball.
County’s player-of-the-match award went to Emma Bradshaw for her strong tackling and her link-up play with the midfield.
In the same competition, NOTTS COUNTY LADIES DEVELOPMENT RESERVES, of the Notts Ladies League, were knocked out by one of their first-team’s rivals in the East Midlands League, Teversal.
However, they battled all the way and even led 2-0 thanks to goals at Jade Sheppard before going down 3-2 amid some poor refereeing decisions.
As the tide turned, Teversal levelled before half-time and bagged the winner from a corner, despite the never-say-die attitude of player-of-the-match Jessie Knott.
A BELOW-par performance was still good enough to book a ticket to the Notts FA Challenge Shield semi-finals for NOTTS COUNTY LADIES DEVELOPMENT UNDER-16S.
County triumphed 3-0 away to Notts Girls League rivals Keyworth United -- but only after a slow, scrappy start.
It needed the introduction from the substitutes’ bench of captain Ellie Betteridge to grab the tie by the scruff of the beck and inject some belief.
And after they had hit bar and post, The Magpies finally took the lead in the 40th minute when Leia Ward, who has been picked for the Nottinghamshire county team, set up Jade Henderson to slot home.
Ten minutes into the second period, the lead was doubled by Betteridge, who lobbed the ‘keeper after good work by Emily George, Megan Weston and composed right-back Jamie Clifford, who deservedly landed the player-of-the-match award.
And five minutes later, the game was wrapped up by Sara Duffield, who thumped the ball home from a well-worked corner.