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Nottingham Forest came through a difficult tie away to Frome Town on Sunday, a 7-3 win taking them through to the Fifth Round of the F.A.Women's Cup.
Beth Bailey played an important role in midfield to help Forest get past the South West Combination side and she told Women's Soccer Scene after the game that her team needed to work hard in the muddy conditions. "The pitch was not that bad to start with," said the former England under-19 player, "but as the game went on it got worse, the ball wouldn't roll. Frome came out in the first half and really gave it a good go and we found it difficult to start with, but when we got a few goals ahead, we settled down and we got through.
"The pitch looked heavy through the middle so we decided after the warm up to play down the wings, which is where our strength is anyway."
Nyci Thorns scored a hat-trick in the victory, the summer signing's first treble for the club. When asked which goal was her favourite, she quipped: "The own goal," referring to her deflected third effort, with which she has been credited. "Reanne (Thomas) played a really good pass down the right, I took it all the way to the area and tried to play it to Lauren (Cresswell) but it took a nick off the defender and went in."
Nyci joined from Derby County and has no regrets over joining the Premier League club. "It's been a big change," she admits. "I moved up from the league below and it's been very different - the training has been absolutely brilliant and so have the girls, and it is a really nice club to be a part of."
Nottingham Forest are quickly gaining a reputation for producing talented young players and Reanne Thomas is one of the latest, giving an eye-catching performance in midfield. "Reanne is only 15 and this is her first season in the first team," says Beth. "Her pace is unbelievable, which is a great asset to have, but she has also got the footballing ability so, combined together, if she keeps going how she is at the moment, she can go all the way.
"We have got a really good blend of players who aren't too old but have experience and those with youth, exuberance and are keen to do well and we blend well together as a squad."
Beth joined Forest at the start of the season after a spell at Wolves and she is happy with life at her home town club. "It's really good here and I feel I have settled in very quickly," she admits. "The girls are great and I hope I can pass on some experience to the younger players. We've had a few ups and downs this season but we are playing good football, so I am really enjoying it."
This season's Final will be hosted by Nottingham Forest so the dream of a home final is still alive and, for Beth, this would mean a lot. "I am a Nottingham girl and a Forest supporter, so to play at the City Ground would be amazing for me, but we'll just take one tie at a time," she smiles.
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