Wolves 0 Nottingham Forest 4 (Moncaster 19, Powell 51, Reynolds 66, Middleton 90)
Wolves Women were knocked out of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup second round after suffering a 4-0 defeat – their first loss of the 2021/22 season – to Nottingham Forest at the CKW stadium.
Wolves were pinned in their own half for the opening 20 minutes of the match. Forest pressed high and forced Dan McNamara’s side to play long balls when in possession.
Mai Moncaster opened the scoring for Forest 19 minutes in. After finding earlier success down the right but seeing her shot ricochet off the post, she tried her luck a few minutes later shooting towards the near post from a tight angle down the right. Her shot beat Becky Thomas at her near post and gave the visitors the lead.
The old gold picked up some momentum towards the end of the half creating some great goal scoring opportunities but failed to convert past a robust Forest defence. Beth Merrick came the closest after jinxing past her marker on the right but saw her shot from just inside the area lift over the bar.
A few minutes earlier Amber Hughes had a chance to head in an equaliser. Anna Morphet whipped an in-swinging corner close to the goalkeeper. Hughes rose and looked to direct the ball on target but narrowly missed the ball which fizzed past the face of the goal.
Half-time | Wolves 0-1 Forest
Wolves started the second-half more positively controlling more of the possession and pinning Forest back.
Despite the early pressure it was the visitors who would double the lead. Wolves pushed high in search of an equaliser and lost possession allowing Forest to break quickly. The ball fell to Naomi Powell in the box and she fired in from close range.
Amber Hughes tried her luck to get the scores level minutes later. She rifled a brilliant effort from range towards goal and forced Emily Batty to tip the shot onto the crossbar and out for a corner.
Morphet then denied a third with a crucial sliding challenge to avoid Forest scoring into an open net after a mix up with Thomas in goal. But the visitors would grab their third ten minutes later through a strike from within the box by Hayley James.
Wolves conceded a fourth in the dying moments of the match. Katie Middleton ended a bitter afternoon for McNamara’s side with another shot from close range.
Full-time | Wolves 0-4 Forest
It was a disappointing result for head coach Dan McNamara, but he still praised his side who have performed fantastically the past three months, he said: “It was disappointing. I don’t think we ever got going to be honest.
“Forest came and were aggressive, played with real intensity and I don’t think we ever matched it. We struggled to get going from the start, but the girls have been absolutely fantastic the last three months so I’m not questioning their efforts. I don’t think what we asked them to do worked, so it is one of those games we’ll put to bed quite quickly.
“I thought we lacked intensity and looked like a team that hadn’t played in a few weeks and that’s going to happen with the current weather we’ve had recently calling off games. I just don’t think we ever got going.”
On Jade Cross returning from injury
“We know what Jade brings, she’s a fantastic addition to the squad and we’ve really missed her. It’s probably not the return she would’ve wanted, but it’s fantastic to have her back in.”
Wolves were due to play Loughborough Lightning in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division on Sunday, but with Loughborough in FA Cup action, the game will be rearranged for later in the season.
However, Wolves will now head to Hull City for their league clash which has been moved forwards from the original date of 27th March.
“One of the plus points of going out of the cup is we might actually get to play a league game,” McNamara said. “We’re approaching two and a half months now without a league game and I’ve never known a league where you don’t play for 12 weeks.
“If there is a positive, hopefully, we’ll have a league game scheduled over the next coming weeks and it might give us an opportunity to put right what went wrong today.”
12/12 Hull City
19/12 Bedworth United FC BCC
09/01 Brighouse Town AFC
16/01 Middlesbrough Women
23/01 Derby County
Wolves: Thomas, E. Cross, George (Riley 86), J. Cross, Hughes, Darby, Holmes (Price 65), Morphet, Miller (Cooper 65), Dermody, Merrick
Unused subs: Turner, Widdal, Elsmore, Butler
Nottingham Forrest: Batty, Harkin, Brown, Steggles, Moncaster, Axten (West 78), Reynolds (Middleton 86), Walters, Anderson, James, Powell
Unused subs: Cook, Tudor, Aguirre, Higginbottom, Bonser
By Tom Alston