Notts County switch to Cup focus after Sunderland win

Thursday 30 Apr 2015
Rachel Williams challenges for the ball with Sunderland keeper Rachael Laws

Rachel Williams admitted all talk of Notts County’s FA Women’s Cup semi-final this weekend was banned in the build-up to their 4-2 victory against Sunderland in FA WSL 1.

Williams scored at both ends for the Lady Pies as they made it back-to-back wins in the league, coming from behind to see off the newly-promoted Black Cats.

And the striker admits the hard work on the training ground under coach Rick Passmoor is starting to pay off and they can now turn their focus to this weekend’s semi-final clash with Everton.

Notts County 4-2 Sunderland

The FA WSL 1
Meadow Lane, Nottingham
Wednesday 29 April 2015

“We’ve worked on what Rick wanted us to improve on and we got the result we wanted which was three points,” she said. 

“We haven’t been allowed to think about Sunday. Rick made it very clear that we focus on the game that is in front of us. Tomorrow we will go into training and focus on Sunday”

“For me it was all about being closer to home and I had to leave Chelsea just to get match fit and train more and it’s finally all starting to come together.

“I was in and out last year with injuries but for me it was about getting my head down and working hard and whatever happens in the future with England happens, but right now it’s all about Notts County.”

It was Sunderland that took the lead inside five minutes with Beth Mead deftly chipping Notts keeper Carly Telford to silence the home fans.

Notts County forward Jess Clarke takes on Victoria Greenwell

Notts County forward Jess Clarke takes on Victoria Greenwell

Notts County hit back with two goals in two minutes with their first coming after a Dani Buet free-kick was flicked by Ellen White, wrong-footing the Sunderland keeper Rachael Laws to equalise.

Just two minutes later, White added her second of the game to give Notts County the lead coolly slotting past Laws.

Jess Clarke added a third for the Lady Pies on 28 minutes after her shot went through the grasp of Laws. Williams added the fourth goal before half-time with a looping header as they headed into the break with a 4-1 lead.

In a more evenly contested second half the only goal came thanks to an own goal from Williams that briefly ignited hope for Sunderland but Notts County sniffed out any danger to take the victory.

“Our first-half performance let us down,” said Sunderland goalscorer Mead. 

“We started off well like we wanted too and we knew we had to hit the ground running but after our goal we just became quite naïve and we lost the game in the first half.

“We played a lot better in the second-half but that first half cost us the game. We know we are better than that and we let ourselves down and it was hard to get back into the game after that.”

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Notts County (4-3-3): Carly Telford; Alex Greenwood, Amy Turner, Laura Bassett (captain), Sophie Walton; Dani Buet, Leanne Crichton, Aileen Whelan (Dunia Susi 69); Rachel Williams (Fiona O’Sullivan 76), Jess Clarke, Ellen White.

Subs not used: Jules Draycott, Fern Whelan, Ashleigh Plumptre, Laura-Jayne O’Neill

Sunderland (4-3-3): Rachael Laws; Victoria Greenwell, Stephanie Bannan (captain; Gemma Wilson 31), Victoria Williams, Hayley Sharp; Sarah McFadden (Madelaine Hill 89), Kiera Ramshaw, Abbey Joice; Brooke Chaplen, Kelly McDougall, Beth Mead

Subs not used: Natalie Gutteridge, Rebekah Bass.

Bookings: Victoria Greenwell 79.

Attendance: 517.

Referee: Lisa Rashid.

By FA Staff