Wednesday 13th February
FAWNL South East Division One
A spot of midweek football action this Wednesday evening with a trip up the A47 to watch the East Anglian Derby match between Norwich City Ladies & Ipswich Town Women at Plantation Park the two sides meeting just 4 days after the men’s clubs went head to head at Carrow Road.
Both these sides stalwarts of the FAWNL South East Division One as it’s currently known have seen it’s many guises over recent season’s remains the 4th tier in the women’s football pyramid. Both East Anglian clubs with ambitions to climb out of Division One and into the Southern Premier Division above.
Ipswich lay in 7th spot going into this evenings game with Norwich a place and 2 points behind in what is a tightly contest league once again this season a real tussle for position in the middle of the table any team getting a run of results going likely to find themselves in the top 5 or higher such is the competition, Crawley Wasps Ladies aside who have a 100% after 10 played to lead the way look strong contenders for the title and promotion.
A change of coaching personnel towards the end of last for Norwich, Grant Palmer in charge of the 1st team now. The side languishing at the wrong end of the season for a couple of seasons prior, have improved this campaign a good balance of youth and experience, fitness also worked on results and performances see them looking to push up the table instead off getting dragged into relegation zone. 4 wins to date in the league two of those coming under the lights including their 1st win of the season a 1-0 result away to Ipswich in the reverse fixture.
Carla Dickinson taking over as 1st team manager at Ipswich Town Women at the beginning of the season worked with Grant Palmer at Norwich prior to taking on the head coaches role. Taking charge of a side challenging at the top end of the league recently, has brought in several new faces to the squad, amongst them Toni-Anne Wayne now enjoying playing an outfield role after keeper goal for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies for a number of season prior. Midfielder Ceira Flatt joining from Acle United Women, with two new signings announced on the eve of this evenings derby, Amy Nash and Georgia Box joining from Billericay Town Ladies, a over that sees Kerry Stimson and Laken Duchar Clark head in the opposite direction. Recent form against Ipswich with just the one point collected from their last 4 league games.
A good atmosphere building at Plantation Park before the game the positive result for the Canaries on Sunday seeing the timing of this evenings derby match spot on, the club hoping the feel good factor will see an increased attendance and it looked positive with a crowd in excess of 230. The pitch at Plantation Park seeing plenty pf action, offering plenty of width is a good size the bar overlooking one goal a small seated stand along one side of the pitch. Has been a mild day, dry the evening air cooling but no chance of rain.
Norwich City Ladies starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Tigi Robson, Alice Parker, Sasha Diston (C), Laura Tacker, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss, Reeanna Cook, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Eliza McDonald, Keunna Dill, Christina Papadopolou, Rosie George & Chelsea Garrett.
Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Sian Fagg (C), Jac Ball, Gemma Moore, Hannah Petley, Florence Cage, Jordan Arnoup, Cassie Craddock, Natasha Thomas, Zoe Cossey, Amy Nash & Toni-Anne Wayne. Subs – Danni Clarke, Sophie Welton, Paige Wakefield, Ciera Flatt & Georgia Box.
New signing Amy Nash starts for Ipswich with fellow new signing Georgia Box on the bench for Ipswich the visitors kitted out in blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Norwich wearing yellow shirts, green shorts and yellow and green banded socks the home side to kick off the game under the lights. The hosts playing the ball out to Aimee Durrant getting forwards on the right wing, Jac Ball dealing with the threat for Ipswich heading the ball back to goalkeeper Sian Fagg wearing the captains armband.
Ipswich get straight down the other end the ball played on for Toni_Anne Wayne moving out to the right squares the ball back across the top of the Norwich area for Natasha Thomas back to goal she helps it on into the path of Jac Ball racing on on the left takes on the shot from the angle hits it well rising her powerful strike smashes against the crossbar.
Norwich build from the back the ball played on up the left side Kathryn Stanley giving chase, Gemma Moore getting to the ball just before the attacker clears it for the throw. Norwich look to plough a path through the middle of the park Millie Daviss with support from Reeanna Cook and Natasha Snelling, Florence Cage and Hannah Petley playing in the centre of defence for Ipswich close the door break up the attack.
The ball intercepted at the back Laura Thacker for Norwich playing the ball into Jodie Drake in midfield, sees the ball into her feet well turns cleverly sending an over the top pass on for Durrant breaking right, Fagg reacts quickly getting out to lay claim to it before the winger can pounce. A good tempo to the game both sides looking to move the ball quickly, Ipswich pressing Norwich.
Daviss and Cook look to combine through the centre of midfield as they drive forwards a tackle seeing the ball pop loose into the path of Snelling she sends it on over the defence into the area, Durrant alert to it however Fagg can safely claim it first. Jordan Arnoup picking the ball up in midfield for Ipswich plays a good early ball out to the right for Amy Nash to go after, Alice Parker recovering to get across her the full back can see it out for a goal kick.
Zoe Cossey moving right keeps the ball well beating three players as she looks to come inside the Ipswich attackers shot saved by Norwich goalkeeper Hope Armstrong at her near post the ball behind for a corner. The high ball in cleared back to the taker on the right side, Norwich winning in back look to counter, Cossey with a superb tackle regaining possession driving on from 30 yards out cuts inside closing in on the area unleashes a shot the dipping ball cannoning off the crossbar once gain.
A couple of over exuberant challenges coming in both sides getting on with it however. Ipswich continuing their bright start attack down the left side a driving run and shot from Ball, Armstrong coming across her goal claiming it. Norwich starting to gain a little momentum the ball won in the middle, Jodie Drake on for Cook she plays the pass on for Durrant breaking forwards on the right wing her cross/shot into the area held safely by Fagg at her near post.
GOAL! 15 minutes on the board and Norwich take the lead strong build-up play in the middle the move beginning with Cook a powerful run forwards on the ball support from Daviss to her right the two drive on the ball played into Snelling back to goal 20 yards out central, holds it up Cook continuing forward moves left the ball coming into her she controls to take the ball away from her body and setting herself curls a fine strike past the keeper and into the back of the net 1-0.
Cook with good work to win the ball once again in the middle looks to release Stanley on the left side, Florence Cage getting out to her to tackle and regain the ball for Ipswich. Nash doing well on the right an experienced player able to get the ball in behind her full back the tempo remains high Norwich pacy in their build up play. Snelling peeling away to the left sees her cross into the area taken by Fagg. Cossey looking to take something happen in the final 3rd lays the ball inside for Cassie Craddock the midfielder closed down by Norwich captain Sasha Diston outside the area.
Daviss wins the ball in the midfield is quick to play the pass on for Snelling breaking forwards moving right, Ball defends for Ipswich. Snelling back to goal outside the area sees the ball into her feet holding off her marker lays in back for the onrushing Drake her shot charged down by Hannah Petley. Craddock with the pass to pick out Nash getting clear on the right she squared a cross along to top of the Norwich area the ball cleared by Laura Thacker before Wayne can reach it.
The ball is pinging about in midfield as players from both sides close each other down, Ipswich managing to get it clear on for Nash running away on the right closing in on the byline lays the ball back inside Wayne taking on the first time strike can’t keep her shot down. Cage with some great defensive work closing down Snelling as Stanley breaking on the right plays the ball inside to the attacker. Cook lifts the ball on central for Snelling looking to bring it down under control as she closes down Cage the Ipswich defender doing well under pressure to deny a shooting opportunity.
A free-kick for Ipswich wide right level with the top of the Norwich area the ball fired into Nash position top right hand corner she drives a shot in through the crowd, Armstrong seeing it late down well to parry it away the ball loose latched onto by Thomas hits it hard close range Armstrong making another great stop to stop Ipswich levelling the scores with less than 10 minutes of the 1st half left to play.
Norwich get up the other end a throw won on the right dropped into Daviss she surges forwards knocking the ball on trying to get into the area Snelling with her the door shut the ball cleared is latched onto by either Cook or Drake 25 yards out a low shot driven in coming through bodies Fagg is well positioned to drop and claim the ball. Norwich finishing the half well pushing forwards Stanley into Snelling more good hold up play before sending the pass out to Drake making a run right of her takes on the shot lacks the power trouble Fagg. A good tackle from Tigi Robson stops a late Ipswich attack as the visitors look to break in behind on the wing.
Half-time Norwich City Ladies 1-0 Ipswich Town Women
Norwich holding the slender lead at the break. The game played at a good tempo the half racing by. Ipswich starting well striking the woodwork twice and denied too with a terrific double save from Armstrong. Norwich grew into the game good build-up play purposeful and with pace Cook taking her goal very well to see the hosts leading. All set up for another intriguing 45 minutes play.
Norwich making a change at half-time Stanley the player subbed on comes Chelsea Garrett, making her return after a 3 month long injury lay off. It’s Ipswich to get things underway in the 2nd half.
GOAL! The ball played out to the right wing, Robson over that side now winning the ball for Norwich put up field centrally Garrett running onto the ball breaks in behind and races for the box let’s fly from the top of the area the ball racing past Fagg and into the back of the net, a perfect start to the 2nd half for Norwich and a scoring return for Garrett moments after coming on 2-0.
A blow for Ipswich right at the start of the 2nd half, no time to get into place any game plan talked about at half-time. Norwich gaining confidence Durrant getting clear on the right wing driving on sweeps a cross in centrally, Cook getting her head on it top of the area left of the D the ball looping up and wide of goal. Cossey as busy as ever in the middle off the park gaining possession running on putting the ball on into Wayne she spins tries to play the ball on for Nash to get in behind on the right, just too much weight on the pass.
Cossey central brings the ball on laying it out to Nash left of her outside the Norwich area Arnoup central, Nash plays her in she sends it out for Thomas breaking into the area to her right comes inside shooting from close range Armstrong making the blocking save. Ipswich make their first change of the game with Craddock coming of Paige Wakefield coming on. Garrett adding a threat centrally in attack for Norwich, Snelling coming left the midfielders sitting back more. Thomas pushes on down the right, in behind Robson, Diston coming across slides into the challenge the ball out for a throw. Cossey gathering the ball turns and drives towards the top of the area, strikes the ball well her effort fired wide across Armstrong’s goal.
Durrant is finding space on the right as Ipswich push up played in behind she is quick on the ball taking it down the line fires an inviting ball into the six yard box Garrett their looks set to turn it in but for the timely arrival of Moore the right back with a fine piece of defensive work in a dangerous area. Ipswich with a throw high on the right into Wayne given to Cossey she comes inside along the top of the area slips as she goes to shoot the ball harmlessly through to the keeper. Nash this time wide on the left for Ipswich taking the ball to the byline fires a ball in across goal Wayne meeting it first time the shot blocked Thomas closed down as she tries to latch onto the loose ball.
Just over an hour played and Nash’s work is done for the evening a good debut. Her replacement Sophie Welton who takes up a position on the right. Soon after Norwich make their 2nd change Snelling coming off on comes Christina Papadopolou, the Greek player making her 3rd appearance for Norwich. 65 minutes played.
Norwich playing the better 2nd half pushing forwards well as a unit win a corner right side the ball delivered into Garrett position central outside the box turns the ball into the box her low strike racing wide of goal. Ipswich win a free-kick inside the Norwich half, Arnoup over the ball plays it high into the box, Diston under it heading firmly clear for Norwich. The game opening up Ipswich counter attack Wakefield getting furthest forwards tries to take the ball on into the area is stopped by Thacker, Norwich turning the attack around counter themselves Durrant still full of energy bursting away right side fires a low cross into the area Cook meeting it 8 yards out her near post shot saved well by Fagg pushed behind for the corner.
Norwich are getting stronger as the 2nd half progresses Ipswich looking a little disjointed are getting out of shape a few last gasp challenges made as Garrett breaks forwards with support to her left and right, Arnoup going into the book following a strong tackle sliding in 25 out. The resulting shot from the free-kick dropping wide of goal. Welton getting forwards on the right for Ipswich her cross into the box gets through the defensive comes into Thomas unexpectedly gets a first time shot away the attempt sliced wide of goal.
Durrant clear again right side as a deflected ball in the middle loops in behind the Ipswich defence, Cage and then Ball get back to defend, trying to get out Norwich close the ball down regain possession in the final third the cross played in Garrett with the shot central the ball claimed by Fagg. Cossey has picked up a knock comes off with 12 minutes to go, Georgia Box coming on to make her Ipswich debut. Durrant is showing no signs of fatigue breaks away right again lays the ball in central Garrett attempting a deft header for Papadopolou, the ball headed clear by Petley.
Wakefield links up with Welton on the right for Ipswich the midfielder laying the ball out to the winger receiving the return pass inside the area her shot held by Armstrong covering her near post. Norwich remain lively win a corner right side a good delivery into the six yard box Fagg doing well amongst the crowd to get a firm fist on the ball. The ball collected far side the ball back in a tackle seeing it deflected behind for another corner, Norwich taking the opportunity to make a change it’s the taker Durrant coming off, on in her place a Keumma Dill for her first Norwich appearance studying at the University of East Anglia is a Burmudian International.
The corner coming in high claimed by Fagg she launches an attack Ipswich getting the ball out to the right, Parker over that side winning the tackle for Norwich the ball out for a throw, end to end in the closing stages of the game, Garrett breaking with the ball tackled by Cage, the ball put up field Box has it left outside the box Ball around her on the overlap played in her low cross fired into the area cleared by the back tracking Drake.
GOAL! Into the final five minutes a free-kick to Norwich on halfway the ball played out to the left onto the path of Cook the young midfielder driving forwards turning towards the area and shoots a powerful strike racing past Fagg into the bottom corner to assure the 3 points for Norwich 3-0.
The hosts remain full of energy Cook combining through the middle with Garrett central Cage putting an end to the move. Dill with the ball right cuts it inside with Cook running on, she attempt to slide the ball into the area for Garrett, Fagg can lay claim to it before the attacker. One last attack for Ipswich the ball played on Wayne doing well chasing it down top of the area holding it up getting the pass into Box arriving left side her shot scooped up into the area taken cleanly by Armstrong.
Full time Norwich City Ladies 3-0 Ipswich Town Women
A 3-0 win to Norwich the 3 points seeing them leap frog Ipswich in the South East Division One and leaves them just a point off the top half. By far the stronger side in the 2nd half an early goal in the 2nd period helping the cause working well together gaining confidence and maintaining great energy levels throughout. Enjoy playing under the lights this their 3rd league win this season in mid-week. Buoyed by a good sized crowd wiling them on. Were clinical in their chances with 3 well taken goals.
Ipswich starting the game well creating opportunities and could have had the lead themselves. Became a little disjointed as the game wore on not reading each other as well as Norwich were, individuals at times plenty of talent it wasn’t happening for them tonight.
Breaking news as I finish up this match report with Carla Dickinson stepping down from her role as Head Coach, sorry to hear and wish Carla all the best for the future.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders for Norwich, will mention Zoe Cossey for Ipswich first some great runs with the ball is hard to tackle when she gets going created several openings. For Norwich a fine double stop from Hope Armstrong. Aimee Durrant might have stopped running by now a threat on the right all game especially 2nd half. Chelsea Garrett with a immediate attack kept the Ipswich defence busy. Reeanna Cook gets the award however with some fantastic work in midfield winning the ball getting involved in the forward play adding pace and urgency to the attack and taking her two goals superbly.
An enjoyable game under the lights good to see a decent crowd, my thanks to both clubs for their help with the teams.