Notts County Ladies bowed out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage against Everton Ladies in a game they’ll consider themselves unfortunate to have lost at Alfreton Town.
Trailing 2-0 to a Nikita Parris brace in the first half, Katie Hoyle pulled a goal back early in the second half. From there it was one way traffic with the Merseysiders relying on Parris to take the pressure off. It was the Everton number 9 who had given Notts the most trouble in their FAWSL1 fixture a few weeks ago so her threat would have come as no surprise.
The in-form Jess Clarke came closest to levelling matters with a 30 yard run before her shot from outside the area cannoned off the inside of the post. Clarke – probably the most in-form player in Ladies football at present – had earlier come close to opening Notts’ account with speculative lob from 25 yards, well tipped around the post by Rachel Brown-Finnis.
A first defeat of the season for Rick Passmoor’s side, but he’ll be pleased at least that his players’ heads never once dropped. Had it not been for a lack of cutting edge in the final third in the first half, an FA Cup Final against Arsenal would’ve been the County reward.
It’s back to Continental Cup matters this Thursday with a trip to Oxford United Women, before a last home game in two months for the visit of Liverpool on Sunday in the FAWSL1 – the last fixture for which season ticket holders for the men’s side can get free entry.