Butler double returns North Notts Ladies to winning ways

ACTION from North Notts Ladies' victory at Cannock.
ACTION from North Notts Ladies' victory at Cannock.

Determined North Notts Ladies bounced back from their first defeat of the season the previous week to earn a hard-working 2-1 victory over Cannock Ladies 2.

Goals from Amy Butler enabled North Notts to come from behind and stay second in the Midland Women’s Hockey League, First Division table, just three points behind leaders Edgbaston Ladies.

Coach Paul Hamnett was pleased with the performance in which his team showed a lot of resilience and a desire to right the wrongs from the defeat.

“At times, it looked as if it wasn’t going to be our day,” said Hamnett. “But we have come a long way in the few weeks we have been together and we showed that ion this result.”

North Notts started like a team with a point to prove and created several good opportunities without success. The forwards, who included Gemma Jackson, had the Cannock defence on the back foot, showing some superb dribbling and winning the majority of 50-50 balls.

With Butler supporting from midfield, a goal looked sure to come. And yet, unfortunately, when it did come, Cannock scored it. They found themselves in the North Notts half and a direct ball into the D resulted in poor marking and a deflection at the back post. The score remained this way until half-time, although the visitors remained upbeat and discussed how to get back into the game.

As with all matches so far this season, North Notts came out firing on all cylinders for the second half and and it did not take long for them to reassert their dominance. Chances came the way, and so did the equaliser. From a long corner, Becky Kannalas transferred the ball to Dionne Hemsley, who played a direct pass into Butler at the top of the D, where she placed a shot past the goalkeeper.

The game developed into an end-to-end contest, with both teams unable to find the crucial final ball. But then Butler popped up with the North Notts winner. She received the ball on the top of the D and although it initially looked as if the opportunity had slipped away, after poor control that took her wide, a bullet-like shot into the bottom corner gave the ‘keeper no chance.

In response, Cannock came alive and threw everything at their visitors, but controlled defending, tight marking and poor finishing enabled North Notts to return to winning ways.