Mansfield Town Ladies began their East Midlands Women’s Regional Football League with a 2-1 victory over Notts County Development on Sunday afternoon thanks to a brace by Monica Bowley.
Notts started the game brightly and pressured early in the game. However, as the first half elapsed, the Stagettes grew in to the game.
Midfielder Bowley opened the scoring midway through the first half after a mix-up at the back led to Bowley pouncing on the ball and thumping it in from 20 yards, clipping the inside of the left post as the ‘keeper was left motionless.
Soon after, attempts from Jemma Meakin, Hannah Bodle and Katie Harper threatened to double the Stagettes’ lead as Mansfield piled on the pressure before the half-time break.
Tony Palmer’s side started well in the second half and substitute Brigitte Warrender hit the post with her first touch and nearly followed in her own shot to score but was denied by some good defending by Notts.
Midway through the second half, Notts scored from a corner with a great individual effort that made its way in the back of the net.
A stunned Mansfield side had to battle hard to get back on top as Notts grew in stature after gaining the momentum, and they almost took the lead but Stagettes’ stopper Jay-Leanne Fenton was able to tip a dipping attempt onto the bar before saving the rebound from close range.
The Stagettes worked hard to weather the County storm and with five minutes remaining, Bowley was put through on goal and calmly slotted in what turned out to be the winner.
Notts finished the game with a reduced number on the field as during the passage of play which led to the Stagettes’ winner, their goalkeeper was injured and had to be helped off.
The final whistle blew and Tony Palmer had his first win as Mansfield Town Ladies’ manager. He expressed his delight with the result at the end of the game, acknowledging that Notts played a great pressing game but felt that the win was deserved.
The Stagettes are in midweek action against Sheffield United LFC, who started their league campaign with a 4-3 win against Nettleham LFC, this Wednesday, 07 September.
The game will be played at Rainworth Miners Welfare, Kirklington Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG21 0JY, with a 7.30pm kick-off.