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Match Report – Norwich City Women v Cambridge United WFC

Sunday 13th October

Women’s FA Cup

Another slice of Women’s FA Cup action this Sunday a trip to Plantation Park for the 2nd Round Qualifying game between Norwich City Women & Cambridge United WFC. 

  An all FAWNL South East Division One clash the clubs from that level entering the competition at this stage the game postponed from last weekend, where absolutely nothing survived in Norfolk last Sunday the county well and truly underwater. An East Anglian derby this afternoon and could potential be the same again in 3rd Round Qualifying of the Women’s FA Cup with today’s winners away to either Ipswich Town Women or Royston Town Women whose game also fell foul to the weather last weekend.

  The 2nd time Norwich and Cambridge have met in the space 4 days having meet in the league at Plantation Park on Wednesday evening, Vicky Lines with Australian side Capalaba FC most recently scoring her 1st goals for Cambridge putting them into the lead twice Norwich coming back to level twice to earn a share of the points with Natasha Snelling and Aimee Durrant scoring. Both sides keen to get points on the board in the bottom half of what is going to be a very competitive South East Division One.

  Changes for both sides over the summer. Norwich changing their name from Ladies to Women a new manager in place Greg Dimsey now head coach. Have lost a few established players particularly in defence have plenty of young talent coming fighting for 1st team places.

  Cambridge moving to a new home over the summer now base at St Neots Town FC both squads for training and games a new start have themselves lost a few experienced players a small squad again with youth coming through to battle it out for a place in the first team. 

  Plantation Park the venue for today’s match. Wet over night the ground came suffer from water logging so it was a case of hedging my bets to see if the game would beat the weather especially with games at either ed of Norfolk called off, but the rain wasn’t heavy and the pitch held up well. Would be soft underfoot and slick plenty of grass cover is a large pitch. The bar open serving hot and cold drinks, a  covered stand offering some protection from the weather light rain at kick-off.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Tigi Robson, Lauren Cullum, Eliza McDonald, Izzy Collins, Angelina Nixon, Reeanna Cook, Millie Daviss (C), Keunna Dill, Aimee Durrant & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Kathryn Stanley, Rosie George, Josie Jarvis, Jodie Drake & Megan Todd.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Liz Pamplin, Jemma Moore, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Albany Hodgson, Faith Hewitt, Charlotte Crisp, Amy Howlett, Emma Jenkins, Vicky Lines & Kelley Blanchflower. Subs – Gemma Croucher, Grace Camfield, Katie White & Chloe Armstrong.

Both sides missing players most notably striker Chelsea Garrett for Norwich and midfielder Amber Cantwell for Cambridge amongst others. Norwich wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts to kick-off the first half. Cambridge in their change strip white shirts with blue design on front blue shorts and white socks. Cambridge quick to close the ball down no head way for Norwich at the start forced to play it all the way back to defence look to go long down the right Aimee Durrant with the run, Carrie Bennett putting the ball out for the throw defending for Cambridge.

  Norwich come right again getting forwards the diagonal ball fired in with pace central met by Keunna Dill her tough taking it to the right looking to strike the shot Albany Hodgson there first to clear for Cambridge at the back. Cambridge counter the ball up to Emma Jenkins on the right up the wing into the corner Lauren Cullum staying with her for Norwich tackling to concede the first corner of the game. Players forwards for the back Cambridge captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt coming to the ball flicking it on with her feet towards the far post the clearance put high before being headed behind for a 2nd corner. Fired in low towards the near post with Vicky Lines making a clever run shoots close range blocked. Norwich clear a rapid counter away on the right side Durrant crossing early the ball into the area gathered safely by Cambridge goalkeeper Liz Pamplin.

    GOAL! A goal inside the opening 5 minutes, Norwich taking the lead Cambridge bringing the ball out from the back Norwich quick to press bringing the error the ball won in the final third fired across the top of the area into Dill left of the D her tough taking it inside central 25 out latches onto the shot struck well sends the ball up over the keeper and into the back of the net 1-0.

Norwich bright at the start of the game pressing centrally getting the ball forwards quickly a free-kick won on half way the delivery into the area defended the head sending the ball high to drop in behind, Durrant lively onto it but the angle against her the cross is put behind. Dill gets away on the left, Jemma Moore recovering well diving in with the challenge taking the ball away for the throw. Pamplin with an excellent save to deny Durrant as she attacks right taking on the shot early driven in across goal rising Pamplin throwing up and arm to push the ball behind for the corner kick. The delivery comes in central knocked down towards goal blocked, Burt then launching it clear. 

Cambridge United WFC’s Jemma Moore.

  Dill lively in attack for Norwich a good ball forwards into her from captain Millie Daviss, Dill getting in front of her marker central to swing her foot into the shot from 30 yards out in a central position, spinning as she strikes it Pamplin can watch it safely wide of her goal. Reeanna Cook and Daviss combine in attack for Norwich getting forwards Durrant the outlet wide right her ball in headed clear by Hodgson for Cambridge. 

Eyes on the ball, Cambridge United WFC midfielder Charlotte Crisp

  Norwich energetic at the start, Cambridge having soaked up the pressure well break the pass forwards seeing Amy Howlett away over halfway on the left races on towards the box coming inside one on one with the keeper commits Hope Armstrong into the dive attempting to block the ball as she travels right knocks it past her shoots trying to cut the ball back into the empty net the ball striking the base of the post. 

  GOAL! The post saving Norwich a moment ago, Cambridge getaway on the left in attack this time and score. Striker Kelley Blanchflower gathering the ball int her feet and driving up the left wing a powerful run on the ball taking it into the box to the byline getting away from a last ditch challenge to come back inside smashes her shot low across the goal to equalise 1-1. 

   Cambridge’s turn to exert some pressure in attack, Moore getting forwards on the overlap to support Jenkins. Lines across to help forces Norwich to give away the throw high up the pitch Moore has a long throw in her arsenal. The ball almost finds it’s way through across the six yard box Norwich struggle to clear eventually put out of the box gathered by Moore to loop a cross in from the right an inviting ball dropping far post Lines arriving late can’t quite get onto the end of it.

Cambridge’s Vicky Lines looking to find away through the Norwich defence

   Norwich look to attack building on the left Dill laying it on for Cook, Cullum racing on to stay with her the pair combining before Cook sends in a waist high cross towards the top of the area, Snelling stooping to head the ball goalwards can’t get enough power on the ball to trouble Pamplin. Ebbing and flowing is an even contest plenty of energy no one allowed time on the ball and the wet surface making the ball tricky to control at times. Cook surging on through the middle looking to get hold of the ball, Burt out of defence making a strong tackle to deny her. 

Izzy Collins clearing the ball for Norwich.

  A good understanding forming between Lines and Blanchflower in attack for Cambridge are playing off one another well Cambridge inviting Norwich on at times drawing their defence forwards are quick to exploit Lines putting Blanchflower away to carry the ball on into the area right side closing it on the six yard box hits it hard rising straight at the keeper nevertheless Armstrong does well to get her gloves up to make the save and take the sting out of the shot able to grab it before Blanchflower can capitalise on the rebound. 

Keunna Dill controlling the ball well on the touchline for Norwich City Women

  A fantastic piece of skill form Dill out wide to bring the ball down on her chest and keep in as it is fired long up to her, plays it inside to Snelling before spinning in behind Moore, Snelling looking to pick her out with the return ball. Moore does well to get back on the Norwich attack to slide in and win the ball back. The light rain that has been falling has stopped the sky looking mildly brighter. Faith Hewitt central plays it on well for Blanchflower beating the offside trap to run at the box, Eliza McDonald with her making the challenge top of the box the ball cleared by Armstrong. Is competitive in the middle Angelina Nixon an ex-Cambridge player lunging in to win the ball against Crisp playing it forwards for Snelling, Burt close in win the tackle for Cambridge.

Cambridge United WFC captain, Kayleigh-Anne Burt

   Durrant on the right wing as Norwich push forwards, Cambridge dropping deep into their box the cross long gathered by Dill plays it central to Snelling, closely marked can’t turn to shoot holds up well though laying it back towards the top of the area for Nixon slight hesitation before shooting gives Hewitt the chance to dive in and charge the ball down. Howlett and Jenkins have switched flanks in attack for Cambridge, Howlett right now up with Lines forcing Norwich to concede a throw deep in their territory, Moore to put long into the six yard box bounces on through with no one getting a meaningful touch before being cleared far side. 

  Time running out in the 1st half Norwich on the attack. From a throw in left Dill plays it into the advancing Nixon left of the box her pass in central for Snelling 20 yards out a tame effort on goal, gathered cleanly by Pamplin. Dill brought down attacking left 30 yards out, Snelling on the set-piece long to the far post headed clear back out to the left Dill bringing it down fouled again another free-kick given.

 GOAL! Norwich retake the lead in the closing moment of the first half Durrant on the free-kick fizzed in with pace a good height Daviss six yards out getting her head on the ball to power her header down wide of Pamplin to score 2-1.  

Millie Daviss making it 2-1 to Norwich late in the first half

Half-time Norwich City Women 2-1 Cambridge United WFC

   Norwich retaking the lead at the death in what was a very entertaining and fast paced half. The rain easing up and eventually stopping. The hosts vocally cheered on well by their mascots Haddenham Rovers Colts U12s treated to fantastic contest so far. The sides fairly even overall play fast little time on the ball. Cambridge soaking up more pressure at times but counter attacking well. Norwich lively throughout looking to get forwards at every opportunity taking an early lead. Cambridge coming back well the post struck before equalising disappointed to concede late in the first half. 

Cambridge attack

Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway extra-time and penalties if needed. Blanchflower putting the ball on for Lines moving right, Cullum staying on her to get the ball away for the throw for Norwich. Norwich bring the ball on through the middle Daviss with Nixon onto Durrant away right a good cross into the box central Snelling moving towards the ball Burt on her shoulder squeezes a cut backed shot under the defender and she challenges, Pamplin central through reacts well to get down make the save.

Angelina Nixon on the ball for Norwich City Women

  Cambridge feed the ball forwards into Blanchflower, determined on the ball getting forwards, Cullum halting her progress the striker sends it across the top of the box with Jenkins racing forwards central her attempt charged down the deflection spinning away to the far post gathering by Lines to hit goalwards, Armstrong across at her post diving getting both gloves securely around the ball. 

Norwich goalkeeper, Hope Armstrong.

  Nixon breaking up a Cambridge attack sends the ball on for the advancing Cook, Crisp across lunging in to tackle the ball won back the game competitive in the middle. Hodgson with a vital interception at the back for Cambridge as Dill aims to send Snelling in behind as she peels away right. Norwich with a ball forwards fortunate as it finds its way through to Durrant top of the area her tough forwards looks to prod it back across the keeper, Pamplin down making a fantastic save with her legs to deny her. 

 GOAL! Cambridge come back to level the scores for the 2nd time in the match. The ball played out from the ball into Jenkins central he helps it’s on its way to Blanchflower pulling away to the left in space she drives on intent on finding her way into the box shoots on the angle pace on the ball races past Armstrong into the goal beyond to score her 5th goal of the season 2-2.

Cambridge United WFC striker, Kelley Blanchflower

   Norwich look for an immediate reply Dill with a burst of pace on the left side travelling to the byline a good ball cut back towards the top of the area, no one making the run however allowing Cambridge to build a move forwards. Norwich making the first change of the match McDonald the player coming off, Kathryn Stanley coming on. A move that sees her go left and Dill drop into central defence. A flowing one two between Nixon and Snelling as the midfielder breaks forwards to the top of the area sees Snelling put a shot wide from inside the area. 

Norwich City Women captain, Millie Daviss

  The game remains open neither side on top both looking like they can score. Daviss with a superb pass forwards to pick out Durrant on the right down the wing a cross flashed in missed by Snelling near post, Pamplin plucking it down central needed with Stanley racing in far side. A 2nd change for Norwich with Cullum coming off, on in her place Rosie George. Norwich pushing up a throw on the right finds Nixon on the byline turns well to play it back to Durrant six yards out shoots, Burt throwing herself into the challenge blocking the ball away for a corner kick. 

Emma Jenkins playing the ball for Cambridge with Norwich’s Aimee Durant closing in

  Cambridge make their first change of the game, Gemma Croucher coming on for Lines in attack. Stanley with a 25 yard shot as Nixon brings the ball on from midfield is tackled. The shot straight at Pamplin. Crisp passing the ball on for Blanchflower pulling away left gets behind Robson, the full back recovering well to lunge in to make the block as the striker shoots from the edge of the box. Norwich with a 3rd change, Snelling the player off on comes Josie Jarvis with the game entering the final 10 minutes.

  GOAL! Norwich have been competitive in the middle all game Daviss supported by Cook and Nixon the ball pressed and won put forwards into the path of Durrant right side of goal 25 plus yards out, strikes it well taken early up and down over the keeper to nestle in the goal beyond and give the hosts the lead late in the game 3-2.

Aimee Durrant playing the ball on scoring the winning goal for Norwich City Women

   Cambridge get on the offensive straight from the restart the ball with Hewitt central on for Jenkins right does well to hold it up in the corner a lack of support doing well to get throw, Blanchflower back to Moore who crosses high into the area Jarvis able to bring it away for Norwich. Cambridge make a change Katie White on for Howlett. Norwich getting forwards looking to keep the ball in the corner Durrant managing to force a corner. A good delivery into the box attacked by George near side can only put her header wide across goal.  

 Norwich frustrating Cambridge late on determined to keep them off the ball Daviss with a looping shot as she gets free right 20 yards out dropping down at a comfortable height in front of Pamplin to claim. Grace Camfield coming on in the closing moments for Cambridge in place of Jenkins. Norwich with renewed energy the winning post in touching distance snapping in to win the ball Stanley shooting over from 30 yards out. Durrant back to help in defence in the closing seconds as Cambridge try to force a path through on the right. The final whistle blows and it’s Norwich who advance in the Women’s FA Cup.

Full time Norwich City Women 3-2 Cambridge United WFC

  An away tie against East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town Women in 3rd Round Qualifying as they comfortably progressed against Royston this afternoon. The tie to be played Sunday 27th October. A late winner this afternoon and to be fair to both sides it could well have gone either way entering the final 15 minutes I felt that whoever scored next would go on to win the game you couldn’t have called it. Highly entertaining, competitive without any over the top challenges. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders once again. Kelley Blanchflower superb leading the attack for Cambridge strong and determined on the ball clinical in her finishing. For Norwich Aimee Durrant was excellent making fantastic runs to receive the ball always providing and outlet a well taken strike to win the game. Keunna Dill lively from the off a great strike to give Norwich the early lead offering a threat on the left. Midfield competitve all round a great contest to watch and coming out on top today’s award goes to Norwich captain Millie Daviss battle well breaking up play making it difficult for Cambridge to play through the middle.

  An entertaining game, always frustrated afterwards because I want more! The weather not dampening things too much. My thanks to both teams for the team details as always appreciated.