Newcastle United Women extend unbeaten run to 24 games with narrow Nottingham Forest win
And with that, the Lady Magpies, who have a game in-hand, moved one point behind league leaders Burnley following Kacie Elson’s second-half strike.
It was a tough slog for Newcastle with Forest much improved from the last time the two sides met in the cup last month, but their three points was just about deserved.
Lasses boss Becky Langley cut a frustrated figure on the touchline during the first 45 minutes as her side were sloppy in possession and let Forest take control.
Still, United’s second-half display was much more like what Langley has become accustomed to seeing this season as Elson struck on the hour-mark.
It was a lowkey start at the City Ground but Forest were finding gaps down Newcastle’s right and should’ve been ahead after 15 minutes through Louanne Worsey.
Worsey found herself through one-on-one but goalkeeper Grace Donnelly rushed off her line and made a fine stop to keep the scores level.
Forest were utterly dominant in the opening half-hour as the visitors struggled to protect the wide areas and were unable to keep possession, something very alien to this side.
Langley will have been happy to see her side enter half-time level after failing to control the game and force any saves from Forest ‘keeper Emily Batty.
A half-time change saw Katie Barker replaced by Elysia Boddy and it almost reaped rewards immediately but Bridget Galloway selfishly fired into the side netting.
Newcastle’s main goal threat stole possession on the edge of the area but instead of picking out a teammate in the middle, she opted to fire from a tight angle and watched her shot fizz wide.
Galloway was imposing herself upfront more in the second half as she slipped behind the Forest defence moments later but her powerful effort could only sting the palms of Batty.
Boddy was an inspired half-time change and her energy and willingness to drive forward almost brought about a goal when Batty spilled a shot to Galloway, but her close-range effort cannoned back out off the post.
Langley’s side finally made the breakthrough and it was Boddy at the heart of things as she fired a fizzing effort goal bound which found the bottom of the post.
While Forest’s defenders were idle, Elson pounced on the loose ball and calmly slotted home before celebrating in front of the travelling Toon Army.
After a dogged second-half display which showed Newcastle have a tough side to their game as well, the Lasses managed to extend their unbeaten run.
An inspired half-time change from Langley was the difference and small margins like that could be the difference between gaining promotion to the Women’s Championship or staying in the third-tier.
Newcastle United Women: Grace Donnelly, Olivia Watt, Charlotte Potts, Naomi Bedeau, Tyler Dodds (Jasmine McQuade 90), Amber-Keegan Stobb (Hannah Greenwood 83), Emma Kelly, Kacie Elson (Cara Milne-Redhead 90), Georgia Gibson, Katie Barker (Elysia Boddy 46), Bridget Galloway (Becky Ferguson 90).