Sheffield FC Women fell to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest on Thursday evening, with goals from Lucy Johnson, Hayley James, Rosie Axten, Rachel Brown, and a late goal for Sheffield by Brooke Marsden.
The hosts had the first chance of the game on three minutes, as a great long ball over the heads of the defence found the feet of Mai Moncaster in the area, who took a touch and hit a shot along the ground, but Elizabeth Hobson got down to make the stop.
Sheffield responded with a first chance of their own through returning Steph Smith as she turned the Forest midfielder on the edge of the box and hit a shot on her left, just wide of the post.
In the 15th minute, Forest took the lead through a well-struck free-kick from 25 yards, Lucy Johnson drilling the ball into the far top right-hand corner of the goal over the diving Hobson.
Shortly after, Sheffield’s resilience was once again on display, and they almost got level when Paige Crossman received the ball in the box on the left side, cut in and smashed a shot at the near post and out for a Forest goal kick.
Another chance came for Club, this time on 27 minutes, when Izzy Sullivan cut in on the left-hand side and hit a curled shot over the bar.
In spite of Sheffield having a good 20-minute spell, Forest disappointingly doubled their lead right on the stroke of half-time. Hayley James picked up the ball off a back post tackle and fired it past Hobson into the far right-hand side of the goal.
The hosts picked up where they left off as the second half resumed, and in the 50th minute, Sydnie Naylor lifted a ball into the path of Rosie Axten in the box, who then lifted her shot over Hobson to make it 3-0.
After another promisingly 20 minute spell from Sheffield, which saw Crossman hitting a curled shot straight at the keeper, Forest got a fourth when substitute, Rachel Brown, met Becky Rayner’s cross inside the six-yard box and headed past Hobson and into the back of the net in the 70th minute
Sheffield responded again and had the better for the closing period of the game, coming close to clawing a goal back as Brooke Smith whipped a ball to the back post to the unmarked Crossman who side-footed the ball inches wide of the post.
Then Gina Camfield went close for Club as she broke down the right-hand side, to the byline and lifted a cross into the box, onto the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
In the 81st minute, Sheffield’s endeavour paid off when substitute Brooke Marsden scored a consolation goal, side-footing the ball into the bottom right corner after getting on the end of a through ball from Jen Pearson.
However, the host’s four goals were enough to collect all three points as full-time finished: Nottingham Forest 4 – 1 Sheffield FC.
Nottingham Forest: Aguirre, Greengrass, Harkin, Johnson, Hewitt, James, Naylor (Brown 57’), Moncaster, Tudor (Scholefield 67’), Rayner, Axten (Broad 76’)
Subs not used: Middleton, McKechnie
Goals: Johnson 15’, James 44’, Axten 50’, Brown 70’
Sheffield FC: Hobson, McLoughlin, Housley, Smith, Griffin, Sullivan, Smith (Marsden 76’), Crossman, Giampalma (Ashton 76’), Edwards (Pearson 76’), Camfield
Subs not used: Parsons, Conroy
Goal: Marsden 81’