Newcastle United had previously gone over 365 days without defeat and have now lost back-to-back games, something Becky Langley has admitted is tough to take, especially when they are now without star midfielder Elysia Boddy.
Langley’s side have now surrendered control at the top of the National League North with Burnley five points behind and have two games in hand following the Lasses’ defeat against Nottingham Forest.
Despite racing into an early lead, Forest pegged Newcastle back in the first half before scoring a goal in second-half added time to silence over 3000 fanatic black and white fans.
Elysia Boddy’s absence is felt in Newcastle United’s latest defeat
Arguably two of Newcastle’s worst performances have come in the away fixture to Forest and on Sunday against the same opposition, and there’s one common theme which Langley highlighted in both of those displays.
During the opening 45 minutes against Forest at the City Ground, summer signing Elysia Boddy was on the bench, before coming on at the break and pushing the Lasses on to victory. Boddy is nursing a knee injury so missed the game against Forest on Sunday.
Despite only just turning 20 years old, Langley knows how influential and important Elysia Boddy is to Newcastle achieving their aim of promotion this season.
“It goes without saying that Elysia is an absolutely brilliant player,” Langley admitted. ” We miss her when she’s not in the squad, of course we do.”
Becky Langley bemoans the void Elysia Boddy has left in midfield
“Ultimately it’s one player in an excellent group of players within our squad and we should be able to win the game without her.”
Boddy was brought in from Bristol City over the summer having already played in the WSL and looks to be playing way below the standard she’s used to, but Newcastle can’t afford to rely so heavily on one player.
The young midfielder has been playing through the pain barrier and receiving injections in her knee the last few weeks, but the pain took its toll pre-Forest and her absence was certainly felt.
Langley added: “She’s a fantastic competitor and a very good player, especially for her age as well and we missed her today.”
It doesn’t read well for the rest of the Newcastle squad who failed to pick up all three points, despite the confidence Langey had in her players as she said: “I thought we had enough depth and enough quality to win the game anyway.”