Mansfield Town Ladies’ unbeaten run in all competitions has come to an end after being defeated 3-1 in this top of the table league clash at home to Bedworth United Ladies.
The girls started brightly and were unfortunate not to take the lead as they dominated the first 25 minutes, carving out a number of good chances.
However it was Bedworth who scored the first goal of the game as the tie started to become more open. Sophie Wilson beat the Mansfield ‘keeper with a curling free-kick from the edge of the box.
It didn’t take long for the Stagettes to equalise as less than two minutes later they were awarded a penalty for a deliberate handball in the box. Jemma Douglas calmly slotted home for her fourth league goal of the season.
After getting back on terms, the Stagettes were dealt a blow when 16-year-old league debutant Paige Gadsby picked up two yellow cards in quick succession to put the home team down to 10. The second yellow card also gave away a penalty which Sophie Wilson stepped up to put away for her second.
As the Stagettes tried to reshuffle their personnel after the sending off, manager Lewis Saxby took off striker Jess Machin and replaced her with Shelley Adams to fill the defensive void left by the departed Gadsby.
With Mansfield still pushing forward, Douglas had claims for another penalty waved away as she was seemingly brought down when through on goal.
Half-time: Stagettes 1-2 Bedworth United
Bedworth started the second half brightly, but the Stagettes were looking defensively sound until the 54th minute when a rare defensive lapse was capitalised on by Bedworth to give them a two goal advantage.
A long throw took a fortunate bounce to catch the defence off guard and presented the Bedworth forwards with a chance to pass it into the centre of the box for an easy tap in.
Mansfield pushed hard to get back into the game, dominating possession and creating chances but unfortunately for the girls, nothing seemed to fall for them. The best chance came to Marie Wayne who received a throw from the left, drove through a number of players before forcing the Bedworth keeper to make a spectacular save to tip over.
After the game, Mansfield coach Chelle Bates said that she felt the girls deserved more from the performance: “It was just one of those games where nothing fell right for the girls, they need to just get focused for the tough game next week.”
Bates also spoke about young defender Paige Gadsby’s sending off, she said: “She isn’t the first player to have been sent off and won’t be the last, she just needs to learn from her mistakes.”
The girls have another tough game next week against third placed Long Eaton United LFC away from home (ko 2pm).
Mansfield: E Gascoyne, P Gadsby, E Allen, B Davis, H Bodle, N Flood (12. A Kokkinou), M Wayne, J Douglas, G Hodgkinson (32. M Bowley), J Machin (4. S Adams), L Watton.
Substitutes: R Lakhani
Bedworth Town Ladies: R Leatherbarrow, L Jones, R Smith, K Marvin, J Lewis, S Wilson, H Spencer, J Hunter, K Farnsworth, S Franklin, S Walsh.
Substitutes: C Hewitt, E Chapman, K Webb, E Aston, M O'Hara