Hull City Ladies secured back to back wins and their first away win of the season at Nottingham Forest today thanks to a late goal from Hope Knight. The Tigresses managed to come through a scrappy game with all three points and that is extremely encouraging!
The game was delayed by an hour which was far from ideal for the Tigresses as the referee was not happy that the pitch markings were adequate at Forest’s home ground, Carlton Town FC. The markings were eventually re-painted and the game kicked off. Predictably the home side started quickly and had a chance after just five minutes. A corner was sent in from the right and it was eventually volleyed wide of Amy Halloran’s right-hand post. The Tigresses soon settled into the game and had their first half chance in the 13th minute when Ellice Jackman volleyed a cross from a corner over the bar.
That began a sequence of half chances for City Ladies during the remainder of the first half. Misty Russell hit a shot that didn’t trouble the goalkeeper, Hope Knight hit a shot wide under pressure in the box before hitting a drive over the bar a few minutes later.
The home side had offered little since the opening 15 minutes but they did hit City with a shot across the bows just before half time but luckily the shot went just wide of the post.
HT Nottingham Forest Ladies 0-1 Hull City Ladies
The Tigresses dominated the second half despite the game becoming very scrappy at times. Their first chance of the second period came in the 51st minute. Jo Symington, who had another great game, bombed down the left and found a cross that the keeper could only parry. Suddenly both the Forest keeper and Knight were going for the ball. Knight got there first but could only stab her first time shot wide.
The referee had little control of the game with fouls flying in from both sides and this meant the game couldn’t flow properly. It became a midfield battle that the Tigresses began to gain control of late on. They began winning all of the second balls allowing them to get on the front foot quickly and for the first time in the game they really expressed themselves, looking particularly dangerous down the flanks.
Substitutes Rebecca Beech, Amy Blinkhorn and Rachael Ackroyd all provided fresh impetus from the bench and Ackroyd almost opened the scoring in the 81st minute. There was a goalmouth scramble from a corner and the ball fell to Ackroyd who fired a first time shot that left the keeper stranded. Unfortunately it hit the inside of the post and went up into the thankful arms of the goalkeeper who cleared.
Just as it looked like the game was drifting towards a 0-0 draw Hope Knight popped up with a moment of magic. She picked up the ball in midfield before driving towards the box and hitting a precise drive into the bottom corner of the net! That was no less than the Tigresses deserved after dominating the second half.
City had to manage the final five minutes professionally to secure the win. They did that job perfectly and could have scored again as this time Knight almost turned provider when she hit a low cross that Emily Smith missed by millimetres at the back post. The Tigresses held out in stoppage time and took the ball to the corner whenever possible. The home side couldn’t exert any pressure on the City defence and after 5 long stoppage time minutes the referee’s whistle signalled a well earned win for City Ladies.
FT Nottingham Forest Ladies 0-1 Hull City Ladies
We have said this before and we will say it again, you can’t beat a late 1-0 win! After having the inconvenience of the delayed kick off you could tell the Tigresses were fired up for the battle today and weren’t going to leave without a positive result. After showing their attacking flair last week this game needed them to show their grit and determination and they had it in bucketloads.
Jo Symington continued her impressive form and the entire back four remained disciplined throughout, Hope Knight provided a moment of magic to win the game while Misty Russell continued to look at home in the midfield. Our player of the match though was Amy Kay. Adopting her new defensive midfield role Kay ran the game and read the play expertly throughout. A gritty, tough match like today’s suits her style and she played out of her skin today.
The Tigresses have now accumulated seven points thanks to back to back wins and with Bradford and Doncaster both yet to pick up a point they have a comfortable seven point cushion on the teams in the relegation zone ahead of next weeks trip to Huddersfield.
We spoke to a delighted Tigresses manager Rachel Gay after the game and you can watch the video below.