Tag Archives: Norwich City Women

Match Report – Wymondham Town Ladies v Norwich City Women

Sunday 14th November

FA Women’s Cup

 This season’s FA Women’s Cup reaches the 1st Round Proper with the sides from the FAWNL Premier Division’s North & South entering the competition. Overall 108 sides meeting this weekend across the country. Women’s Football East at on of those ties on #WomensFootballWeekend a local derby too as Wymondham Town Ladies take on Norwich City Women.

 Wymondham Town Ladies currently top of the ERWFL Premier Division aiming for promotion to the FAWNL to join today’s opponents Norwich City Women in South East Division One. On paper not alot separating the sides. Wymondham have in recent seasons enjoyed their FA Women’s Cup campaigns knocking out higher league opponents on a few ocassions. Making a strong start to their ERWFL season winning all 4 of their opening league matches to top the table, suffered 2 straight defeats at the end of September but haven’t looked back since.

Going on a run now at 6 straight wins in league and cup beginning in 2nd Round Qualifying of the FA Women’s Cup away to Haverhill Rovers Ladies, striker Hannah Waters scoring 4 times as Wymondham cruised through to the next round with a 10-0 victory. Faced a long away trip in 3rd Round Qualifying to Essex to face ERWFL Division One South title contenders, Leigh Ramblers Ladies, a hat-trick for Natasha Youngs seeing Wymondham reach the 1st Round Proper with a 5-1 win. Currently 6 points clear at the top of the ERWFL Premier Division with Hannah Waters top scoring with 12 goals from 12 appearances close behind young striker Francesca Catchpole who has 10 from 12 appearances showing her potential after returning from a serious ACL injury before joining the club. Long term injuries a blow Wymondham has had to deal with all too regularly over recent seasons but the squad has remained resilient throughout, just the one out long term at the moment defender Betty Fretwell.

Saw Norwich City Women on the opening day of their FAWNL South East Division One campaign and they won’t want reminding of that game. Suffering a heavy loss to title contenders Billericay Town Women. Were missing several first team regulars that day and despite a difficult start to the season rallied well with a positive run to gain 7 points from 3 games to pull clear of the bottom of the table. Alot of work to do still if they are to avoid relegation but are in touching distance with the mid-table sides above. Entering the FA Women’s Cup in 3rd Round Qualifying were drawn away to fellow league side Harlow Ladies for a 2nd successive trip to Essex the 1st seeing Norwich 3-0 up in the league only for Harlow to mount an incredible comeback to win the game 4-3.

No such drama the the cup however as 1st half goals from Ellie Bishop and a goal from new signing Freya Fuller on her debut secured a 2-0 win. Fuller joins from Billericay Town Women. Norwich recruiting a trio of Wymondham players over the close season with defender, Chardonnay Johnston, midfielder, Mollie O’Callaghan and attacker Freya Symonds all joining along with goalkeeper Yaz Walford from Royston. Like Wymondham play on an artificial surface at The Nest.

Ketts Park, Wymondham Town Ladies home ground. The community and recreation facility newly build on the outskirts of the town. An all weather artificial main pitch with playing fields beyond. The clubhouse serving hot drinks. A viewing area for spectators along one side of the pitch marked out with various sized pitches catering for all age groups. An overcast day a few spots of rain in the air before kick off, fetched the umbrella but it wasn’t needed.

 Remembrance Sunday everyone pausing for a moments silence before the match.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Mary Croft, Leah Newcombe (C), Lauren Kett, Aimee Stretch, Jenifer Codman, Katie Knights, Becca Russell, Natasha Youngs, Francesca Catchpole & Hannah Waters. Subs – Jess Luff, Hayley Kindred, Rachel Cossey, Chelsea Clarke, Jess Hawkins, Laura Nicholls & Lyla Studd.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Bryony Williams, Anna Larkins, Jess Harper, Kate Parsons, Chardonnay Johnston, Millie Daviss (C), Jodie Drake, Freya Symonds, Kathryn Stanley, Megan Todd & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Mollie O’Callaghan, Katie Appleton, Rosie George, Samara Nche, Leilah Gooding, Freya Fuller & Ellie Bishop.

A switch of ends as Norwich get the tie underway kicking off the first half wearing their yellow and green kit. Wymondham wearing red shorts and shorts with black socks. The visitors sending a long diagonal ball out to the left for Kathryn Stanley to attack, dealt with by Wymondham captain, Leah Newcombe at right back for a throw, taken quickly a cross sent into the box from deep, into the gloves of Wymondham goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce. 

  Norwich come through the middle pushed out to Megan Todd pulling right 25 yards out looks to lift it into the box for Natasha Snelling, Lauren Kett defending for Wymondham heading the ball clear. Katie Knights central for Wymondham passes to Natasha Youngs on the left her diagonal ball forwards aimed towards Hannah Waters up top, turning towards goal is pushed out to the right Kate Parsons coming across for Norwich to put in the challenge the ball going away for a throw in the corner. Wymondham working it back up the line before sending the cross in Bryony Williams in goal for Norwich calls and comes to claim the ball.

Wymondham’s Hannah Waters with Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

   Norwich getting on the front foot Freya Symonds getting hold of the ball in midfield going on before playing it forwards to Snelling pulling away to the left her first touch taking her inside moves across the top of the area 20 yards out sending it into Todd’s feet she clips a shot in towards goal looping up comes down off the crossbar! Both sides up for the contest the ball keenly contested in the middle, Symonds closing in on Mary Croft to steal the ball in behind losing her footing can’t capitalise before Wymondham regroup.

Freya Symonds bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Wymondham put the ball into Waters feet back to goal 30 yards out holds it up turning attempting to thread it in behind for Francesca Catchpole making the run, a timely interception by Norwich centre back Chardonnay Johnston. Newcombe at the other end does well defensively heading a sweeping diagonal ball away as Norwich send it in from the right. Symonds finds herself up with the attack central as Todd plays the ball into her inside the D, playing the return ball to Todd she looks to go around the Wymondham defence to the left into the area before unleashing a shot running along the ground lacking the pace to trouble the keeper.

Norwich defender, Chardonnay Johnston

  Norwich making some positive attacking runs at the start of the game Snelling playing it across the top of the area into the path of Todd who strikes a shot over from 25 yards out. Norwich’s captain Millie Daviss central playing a ball out to Anna Larkins moving up field on the left she crosses into the middle picking out Stanley 30 yards out, has a shot the ball loops into the box dropping straight into Pearce’s gloves. Is a little lively on the tackle front both sides giving away freekicks.

Wymondham midfielder, Jenifer Codman

  Jenifer Codman central sees Newcombe on the move down the right the ball put out to her play the diagonal ball forwards early as Waters comes across, Parsons quick to respond going with her tackling for Norwich before Waters can fashion a strike. Catchpole getting onto the ball on halfway allowed to travel with the ball lets fly from all of 30 yards out the shot wide of Williams goal. Players looking to take the ball on through the middle a feature as Stanley gets hold of it for Norwich spots Snelling drifting in behind the defence attempts to lift it through to her, Kett getting her foot up to make a timely interception.

  Kett across to defend against Snelling on the right conceding a corner. The delivery flashed into the box headed clear by Becca Russell for Wymondham. Look to counter on the left, Jess Harper getting across to snuff out the danger. Todd moving to the right with the ball at her feet has Stanley in support the pair exchange passes, Todd trying to get into the area is tackled by Wymondham’s Croft. Appeals from the Wymondham bench for a penalty as Parsons comes across to challenge Waters inside the box the protests waved away. 

  Two fairly evenly matched sides the game open space for both to exploit Norwich counter quickly Stanley on the move with the ball through the middle looking to go all the way is stopped by Aimee Stretch defending for Wymondham. End to end Wymondham play the ball through the middle up to Waters back to goal holding off her marker plays it back to Katie Knights who lifts it out to Catchpole on the left, Larkins coming to close her down the ball out for a throw. 

Lauren Catchpole coming away with the ball for Wymondham

 Russell on the left bringing the ball forwards plays the pass into Waters she turns well to make a run into the box, Parsons coming to challenge lunges across Waters to block her strike. Snelling is moving well across the final 3rd for Norwich making her harder to mark drifting to the left looking to get on the end of a diagonal ball, Newcombe goes up with her to win the header clear for Wymondham. Waters gathering the ball inside her own half plays it forwards looking for Youngs, stretching as she attempts to get hold of the ball run in behind appears to caught her foot in the pitch going down is clearly in distress play is stopped for her to receive treatment. Tentatively gets back to her feet and is okay to continue.

 Waters is the target up top for Wymondham whenever they attack, either to hold the ball up or turn the defence, Parsons more often than not keeping close to her. Waters does well to flick the ball to her left spin in behind going on looking to dig the ball out of her feet inside the d get a shot away, allows the Norwich defence to get back on her en masse to clear. Symonds fouls Knights giving Wymondham a free-kick inside their opponents half. Croft playing the ball up for Waters top of the area parsons winning the header for Norwich.

  Wymondham bring the ball on from the back Croft into Knights pushes it out to the right with Waters moving into the channel to receive, Parsons sliding in to tackle the loose ball latched onto by Catchpole 25 yards out goes for goal her strike sent over the bar. Harper playing the ball on down the right for Snelling to chase in the corner, Stretch comes across to slide in put the ball away for a throw. Jodie Drake in midfield for Norwich with an ambitious strike from all of 30 yards out right side runs wide across the area. 

Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

 A throw deep on the left for Wymondham Waters turning putting it inside for Codman who turns looking to feed in Youngs behind her, Johnston lunging in to challenge winning it back for the visitors. Stretch with another important interception through the middle as Daviss attempts to thread the ball through for Snelling. The tempo is high both sides moving the ball quickly attacking players providing good passing options not always finding there mark. Croft from a throw left picking out Russell shifts inside sending a diagonal ball into the D, won well by Parsons at the back.

Becca Russell with the ball for Wymondham

   Symonds on the drive central for Norwich plays the pass to rake on her left forwards it goes to Snelling central turns her effort on goal blocked spinning away behind for a corner kick on the right. A little under 5 minutes left to play in the first half.

 GOAL! The delivery sent in long attacked at the far post dropping central Russell trying to bring it down slices it away to the right, corner taker Larkins gathering it on the edge of the box, goes on checks then spins right to whip a dangerous ball in low through the six yard box, Parsons is there at the far post lunging in to divert the ball into the back of the net to score her first goal of the season 0-1.

Kate Parsons opens the scoring for Norwich

  Norwich gaining the lead with the clock ticking down in the first half. Clashes in the middle seeing both sides getting free-kicks. Catchpole needing treatment can continue. Careless at the back from Norwich sees Catchpole taking advantage looking to get away Parsons has closed enough to throw her off her stride get back possession. A neat triangle in attack on the right from Norwich between Todd, Symonds and Snelling before Croft sticks out a foot to take the ball.

 Norwich finishing the half strong Symonds up in the final 3rd central holding the ball up spinning left to clip it into Todd on the right down the lone flashes a low cross into the six yard box Snelling meeting it at the near post lifting her shot over.

Half-time Wymondham Town Ladies 0-1 Norwich City Women

  Norwich scoring late on in the first half holding a narrow advantage at the break. Has been a contest between two evenly matched sides so far. Competitive in the midfield both looking to get the ball forwards quickly, Norwich in particular looking to make runs through the middle get support into the attackers. The crossbar hit early one by Norwich both keepers though have been little troubled, defences challenging and intercepting well for the most part. Still very much in the balance as the teams come out for the 2nd period, extra-time and penalties both available should the scores be level after 90.

  No changes for either side at the break as Wymondham get the 2nd half underway, put back to the defence Norwich are quick to close the ball down Stanley in on Newcombe stealing possession to skip in behind sends in in field for Snelling who in turn spots Todd running into the box from the right lifting the ball in towards the far post high Todd leaping can’t quite get her head to it as the ball runs out for a goal kick. 

Norwich’s Megan Todd

  What happens next is a serious test on my memory and note taking skills as all chaos breaks out in the Norwich box. Wymondham play the ball out from the back into Catchpole she sends it forwards into Waters back to goal lays it off to Russell coming on left, played out further to the advancing Croft who whips a shot in on the angle a powerful strike it kisses down off the cross bar into the six yard box, Youngs is close to it shoots her effort blocked by a defender, then Waters sees another effort blocked at close range the loose ball back to Youngs her 2nd attempt on target rising Williams throws herself back to punch the ball away her save giving the defence the advantage to scramble the ball away… at least that’s what I think happened!

  GOAL! No sooner have Wymondham scared the life out of the Norwich defence the visitors get up the other end to score and double their lead. Todd on the right winning a corner off Stretch. Is a good delivery from Larkins. Through the middle too high for those jumping to attack it central drops at the far post met by Snelling who slots it into the back of the net 0-2.

Natasha Snelling scoring Norwich’s 2nd pictured with Wymondham’s Mary Croft

  Newcombe comes forwards with the ball on the right for Wymondham getting in beyond Larkins to lift a cross into the box, Parsons is under it clearing with a firm header. Codman moving out to the left playing the pass inside for Russell to clips a shot in from 25 yards out, low is claimed by Williams. Kett is booked for Wymondham as she comes across to foul Todd as the Norwich attacker surges for the box. The free-kick on the right corner of the area played short into Drake right of the D, her strike at goal racing in low wide across the six yard box out beyond the far post.

Wymondham captain, Leah Newcombe

   Norwich look a threat on the counter attack Snelling coming for the pass central spinning the ball into Todd’s path on the right, Kett getting across her well shielding the ball before playing it back to her keeper to clear. Wymondham make the first change Catchpole coming off with Chelsea Clarke the player coming on on the left. Knights is brought down in the middle a free-kick to Wymondham launched into the box, Williams keeping her eye on it catching cleanly with Kett closing in.

  A moment of controversy, although I’m just saying that for dramatic effect, Waters getting hold on the ball inside the left channel escaping her marker driving towards the box left of the D, Parsons gets back on her the two coming together Parsons bringing Waters down, from where I’m standing and most of the crowd agree it’s inside the box and as the referee blows up are surprised to see it’s a free-kick outside the area. Parsons recieves a yellow card. An interesting one but I have a mate at work who’s a referee and he will always say who was the referee positioned and in this instance much closer to the incidence than most of the crowd. Nevertheless it’s a free-kick in a dangerous position from Wymondham and Russell is over it. Gets her shot in over the wall the keeper beaten the ball comes back down off the crossbar for a 2nd time.

Becca Russell’s free-kick striking the crossbar

  Symonds continues to make strong runs through the middle for Norwich playing the ball onto Todd central who in turn plays it to Snelling on the left her touch taking it inside a little too heavy allowing Croft to step out and clear for Wymondham. The hosts take the ball on down the right winning a corner kick the delivery lifted into the six yard box, Williams coming through bodies has to claim it and does well to get her gloves on the ball. 

  Parsons across to the right channel slides in to foul Waters presenting the hosts with another set-piece. Players forwards lining up at the far post as Russell lifts a high ball into the box. Williams sees it all the way taking a clean catch as players close in on her. 

  A 2nd change for Wymondham sees Laura Nicholls coming on up top for Youngs. Norwich’s Daviss into Stanley racing forwards central plays it out to Todd on the right wing taking it on down to the by-line checks back laying it back to Harper to cross in from deep her ball into the area dealt with by Stretch for Wymondham. Williams out smartly to the edge of the box to slide in a claim the ball as Knights’ pass threatens to release Waters. Nicholls plays it on for Waters who returns the pass to Nicholls right as she goes on put inside for Codman she opens up her body sending a through ball into the area right side, Williams down onto it before Waters can pounce.

Wymondham’s Katie Knights

  Changes for both sides, Norwich with a double substitution bringing off both Drake and Stanley, on come Mollie O’Callaghan and Freya Fuller. Wymondham’s 3rd change sees Rachel Cossey replacing Codman. The Norwich substitutes combining right away as Fuller holds the ball up well out left before sending the pass inside for O’Callaghan 30 yards out has time to look up and take on the shot plenty of power on the ball however Pearce sees it all the way drifting across her goal to take into her midriff. 

  The game remains open Wymondham committing players on looking for a goal, Norwich ready to break on the counter. Todd out on the right drives forwards into the box taking the ball all the way to the by-line doing well to keep it in play squeezing a cross into Snelling at the near post, the attacker can’t get her feet sorted out in time to release a shot as Kett comes in to close her down and clear the ball back with Norwich on the right struck back in low on the angle the effort blocked.

  Knights on for Waters has Nicholls to the right as Wymondham attack, Newcombe round behind her on the overlap the cross squared inside Russell closing in can’t quite take it in her stride allowing the visitors to clear. Symonds pulls up suffering from cramp alot of tired bodies out there alot being put into the game. Waters has been closely watched by Parsons all afternoon the game entering the final 10 minutes. The Wymondham striker working hard throughout to find an advantage battles her way into the area from the left winning a corner. An inswinging delivery, Williams is there to catch cleanly once again. Nicholls is shown a yellow as she pushes Symonds over Norwich with the free-kick Symonds can’t continue comes off to be replaced by Leilah Gooding. The set-piece flung into the far post hooked clear.

   Cossey and Waters link up out on the right in attack for Wymondham the cross flung into the near post just behind Nicholls trying to pull it across her to get a shot away, Johnston gets across to challenge. Clarke forwards on the left for Wymondham squaring a ball into the top of the area Knights stealing in to take the ball inside and send a shot up over the crossbar. Wymondham pushing players on late in the game Cossey with Newcombe forwards on the right the cross sent into the box looping up, Waters rising central can’t get her head on the ball.

 The hosts with a corner on the left driven in near side headed back out to the left Newcombe inside to Clarke 25 yards out left of the D, smashes a low shot wide of the far past. Late pressure for Wymondham another corner on the left in low near side Russell attempting to flick it on cut out and cleared. Gooding in hard on Newcombe a free-kick for Wymondham on the right.

 Russell lifting it into a crowded six yard box headed away Fuller attempting to bring it away on the left, Newcombe tackling to get it back for Wymondham crosses the ball in can’t quite find Knights stealing in at the near post out for a goal kick. The final whistle blow and it’s Norwich who celebrate as they advance to the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women’s Cup

Full time Wymondham Town Ladies 0-2 Norwich City Women 

  An entertaining contest between two evenly matched sides. Norwich scoring twice from a set-piece either side of the break to win the tie. Wymondham coming close with two efforts off the woodwork but overall neither keeper was overly tested. Was a strong battle in the middle of the park with the defences on both sides doing well to limit clear cut chances in front of goal. Fouls given away cheaply by both sides although it was never played with any bad spirit. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match award. Rarely an easy decision, as always a few performances of note to mention. For Wymondham, Hannah Waters worked tirelessly up front trying to create openings and passing options for her teammates. Becca Russell doing well in the middle winning several challenges trying to link with the attack. For Norwich it was a solid performance right down there spine. Waters the threat up front for Wymondham, Kate Parsons stayed on her throughout the game putting in challenges and forcing her out of the middle. Freya Symonds was dynamic in the middle thrusting forwards with the ball and often getting an attacking play on the move. The award though goes to attacker Natasha Snelling showed great movement throughout drifting left and right allowing others to burst forwards and created several opportunities. Scoring the 2nd goal.

  Another enjoyable game from the FA Women’s Cup and an entertaining local derby between two sides that will no doubt lock horns in crucial games in the future. Like Norwich I look forwards to the draw for the 2nd Round Proper. My thanks to both sides for the team details as always.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Billericay Town Women

Sunday 15th August

FAWNL South East Division One

 It’s great to be back and can happily say I’m ready and raring to go looking forwards to what I hope will be a long and hopefully disruption free campaign. Starting the new season in Norfolk with a trip to The Nest in Horsford to watch the FAWNL South East Division One season opener between Norwich City Women and Billericay Town Women.

 With the previous two season’s being voided due to the ongoing COVID pandemic it has been a tough and frustrating time for all in the football community. The actions taken of course to try and limit the spread and ultimately save lives. Thought go out to those we’ve lost and those who have lost a loved one. The vaccine programme bringing hope that we can get back to some kind of normality. The women’s game at grassroots level in need of it this period hampering the development and progress of a number of sides, like myself will be hoping for better times ahead.

 The FA Women’s National League (FAWNL) going from strength to strength nevertheless, some shifting upwards within the pyramid seeing clubs promoted this season, Ipswich Town Women moving up from South East Division One to the Southern Premier Division signing many players up to a professional contract. Two sides joining South East Division One with Harlow Town Ladies and QPR Women joining from their respective regional Premier Divisions, sees 13 sides contesting South East Division One this coming season. The talent pool getting larger as the women’s game grows, clubs making some exciting and experienced signings the league will be stronger than ever.

Norwich City Women are long established as the leading women’s side in Norfolk have played in the 4th tier of the women’s football pyramid since the FAWNL or FAWPL as it was previously known was founded in 2014, members of the South East Combination prior to that. A new home for Norwich last season as they moved to The Nest a newly built sporting facility on the outskirts of the city. Along with that a trophy won after a long lean spell as they regained the Norfolk Women’s County Cup. Will be looking to use that as a springboard to push on up the South East Division One table having been at the wrong end of it for a few seasons. A trio of new signings made ahead of the new season with Mollie O’Callaghan, Freya Symonds and defender Chardonnay Johnston all joining from ERWFL Premier Division side, Wymondham Town Ladies. Goalkeeper Yasmine Walford also coming to Norwich having previously been with Royston Town Women. A few players also stepping up from the academy.

Essex side, Billericay Town Women acheived promotion to the FAWNL in 2018 after clinching the ERWFL Premier Division. Building in stature in recent season’s have become one of the leading sides for women’s football in the county. Essex Women’s County Cup holders have developed strong ties with Billericay Town FC which has seen the club attract a strong, talented squad that hit the ground running in the FAWNL pushing for the title right from the off. The pandemic dented those title ambitions but they remain firmly on track. Scott Chickelday taking over as 1st team manger from Kim Coster. Have kept most of the squad together whilst recruiting some new faces including left side attacking player Shannon Drewe from Millwall and most recently Mia Lockett who has impressed on trial from Tottenham. Billericay’s 1st team backed up by a Reserves and a Development side.

  The venue for today The Nest, the new home of Norwich City Women. The new built sporting facility boasting  a new artificial pitch next to a modern clubhouse and changing rooms featuring a cafe serving hot food and drinks overlooking the pitch with numerous grass pitches beyond. Restrictions lifting a decent number turning out to enjoy the match. The weather a little indifferent, cool under the dark cloud dotted around, warm when the sun manages to peek through. The Nest close to the airport, several plans and helicopters taking off over the ground.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Yasmine Walford, Leah Harper, Ellie Bishop, Chardonnay Johnston, Kate Parsons, Millie Daviss (C), Jodie Drake, Leilah Gooding, Samara Nche, Kathryn Stanley & Freya Symonds. Subs – Amy Durrant, Izzy Collins, Natasha Snelling & Katie Walker.

 Billericay Town Women starting XI – Amy Mullett, Lucy Jones, Kerry Stimson, Ellie Jeffkins, Courtney Lumley (C), Jay Blackie, Georgie Morton, Zoe Rushen, Shannan Drewe, Mia Lockett & Logan O’Shea. Subs – Danica Dougal, Leonie Bezant, Ruby Sealey, Mayzee Seymour & Freya Fuller.

  A change to the rules this season still a squad of 16, but now instead of 3 substitutes all 5 can be deployed. Billericay travelling with a full squad the front three, O’Shea, Lockett and Drewe making their competitive debuts. Norwich beginning the season with injuries to some key players whilst others are unavailable. Walford making her debut in goal whilst their are first competitive starts for Symonds and Johnston. The captains come to the middle Billericay to kick-off the first half wearing red shirts and socks with black shorts, Norwich lined up in their yellow and green kit.

The 2021/22 is underway, Billericay looking to get the ball out wide Norwich in to close down smartly. Jay Blackie in central mid-field for Billericay gets hold of the ball knocking it forwards played through for Lockett to break central, Kate Parsons reading the pass for Norwich the centre back getting across Lockett to prod the ball back to her keeper for Wolford to launch clear. Passes going awry early door as both sides work to hustle the ball, Norwich clipping a ball on up the right wing won well by Billericay’s Kerry Stimson on halfway, plays a great diagonal pass out to Drewe making a run left side who in turn played it early into the middle for Lockett to attack inside the D, full back Ellie Bishop sliding in well to defend for Norwich. 

  GOAL! Just 4 minutes into the game and we have the 1st goal of the season featured on Women’s Football East and it is something of a controversial one. Billericay are gaining momentum out on the flanks attacking right O’Shea in space, the defence in ahead of her to take the ball Norwich lay it back to their keeper inside her six yard box Wolford bringing it onto her left foot looks to shift it to clear on her right, Lockett is rapidly on her in to challenge for the ball the pair tangle, Wolford appearing to bring down Lockett the ball loose Zoe Rushen is on hand to slide onto it take it over the line… at the same time the referee blows her whistle. I think everyone thinks it’s a penalty and most likely a sending off for Walford. However after taking her time and consulting with the assistant on that side a goal is awarded 0-1 Rushen credited with the goal.

Zoe Rushen with her 1st and Billericay’s of the season.

  An early blow for Norwich, but it could have been alot worse had their keeper recieved her marching orders. Both captains called over by the referee as both sides want clarification on what happened before the game resumes. Billericay are beginning to impose themselves on the game short quick passes at the back keeping the ball moving before looking for a runner on the flanks, Drewe and O’Shea looking to go forwards the latter winning a corner on the right taken short into Rushen played back to the corner taker the cross sent in to the top of the area knocked inside for Rushen to latch onto shoot on the angle, the ball put straight into the keeper Walford having her near post covered. 

Norwich’s Kate Parsons winning the header with Billericay’s Mia Lockett

  Kathryn Stanley getting into some space on the left for Norwich comes inside before rolling it back into Bishop behind her the full back placing it central into Jodie Drake 30 yards out attempts to pick out forwards Symonds who is tightly marked inside the D the ball rolling harmlessly through for Billericay goalkeeper, Amy Mullett to deal with. Rushen central for Billericay looks to have put the ball on a plate for Lockett in attack central, outside the box, is a superb recovering tackle from Parsons as she dives in to take the ball away from the strikers feet. 

  O’Shea has pace to burn on the right side of attack for Billericay, the ball won on the middle of the park she is constantly ready to receive it, Bishop being kept busy tracking her the visitors hustling Norwich giving the hosts no time to settle on the ball. Likewise Drewe on the left picked out well by Rushen, touch and go racing on down the wing fires it into Lockett making a near post run, looks to see it across her and turn into the shot, Johnston getting close enough to put her off then clear. 

  GOAL! 18 minutes played Billericay push players forwards quickly Lockett getting in behind making a left channel run laying it back towards the top of the area that sees Georgie Morton get hold of the ball a strike a low straight ball hard to race past the diving keeper inside the near post 0-2. 

Georgie Morton scores to double Billericay’s lead

 GOAL! No sooner have the visitors gotten into a 2 goal lead they make it 3. Norwich are guilty of dallying on the ball at the back, left side Drewe closes down to tackle and win the ball taking it on in behind into the area, shooting on the angle to fire the ball wide of the keeper into the bottom corner of the net 0-3. Drewe with a goal on her Billericay debut.

Shannan Drewe opens her Billericay account to make it 3-0 (photo credit Nicky Hayes)

  Norwich are on the back foot, Billericay full of confidence closing the ball down all over the park, getting out wide quickly, Parsons needing to close down Lockett she skips inside from the right. The hosts unable to get the ball into Symonds up top can’t get anyone close to support her. Moreton and Blackie putting in good tackles to get Billericay back on the offensive. 

 GOAL! Chaos in the box as Billericay surge forwards Drewe with the ball on the left sending a cross flashing in across the six yard box to the far post O’Shea close in attacking it knocks in back down across the face of goal, Norwich don’t clear. sliding in one of Billericay’s attacker sends a shoot racing goalwards strikes the under side of the cross bar dropping down into the six yard box where O’Shea quickest to react to tap the ball over the line for her first of the season 0-4.

  25 minutes played and Billericay have a firm grip on the game, Norwich rocked and struggling to regroup as Rushen 30 yards out left of goal drags a shot wide. Bishop on the ball for Norwich looks to play it long for Stanley on the move, Ellie Jeffkins at the back deals with the threat comfortably for the visitors. A chance for the hosts to get players up into the box as Moreton gives away a free-kick inside their half. Leah Harper from the right clipping it into the box, Rushen back to defend gets a good header on the ball to clear for Billericay.  

 O’Shea races away in behind on the right of attack for Billericay goes inside before flashing a cross/shot along the goal face Norwich clearing at the far post. Rushen central with another pinpoint pass to find Lockett moving left into the box wide of goal looks to check inside create a better shooting angle, Parsons does fantastically well for Norwich getting in on her to make a strong but fair tackle. Walford the busier of the two goalkeeper down at her near post to gather as a shot is rifled in. Moments later comes out to the top of her area well to make a blocking save against Lockett closing in from the left. 

  Bishop recieves the first yellow card of the game as she slides in to bring down Lockett centrally as the striker drives towards the box giving Billericay a free-kick in a dangerous position. 20 yards out to the left side of the D, Lucy Jones over it goes for goal blasted in Walford doesn’t react the ball smashing against the fence behind her goal. No doubt Norwich are rattled at conceding 4 goals on the back foot can’t get anything going in attack, Billericay playing their part not letting anyone settle on the ball, lack of movement hindering the outlet ball being found, Symonds often alone up top marshalled well by the Billericay defence. 

Billericay defender, Ellie Jeffkins

  Stanley played in by Leilah Gooding central puts a good crossfield pass into Samara Nche on the right, has Symonds making a run into the channel ahead of her, Blackie and Morton  combining to slow her down and regain possession, Drewe picked out on the left, Harper sliding in to halt her advance. Parsons with another last ditch crunching tackle on O’Shea as she threatens to burst into the box as Drewe sets her up from the left. Billericay continue to press on the left Drewe wide firing a dipping ball in Parsons can’t get high enough to clear near post the ball though drops wide of the far post.  

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-4 Billericay Town Women

  A dominant first half display from Billericay to get their season of to a fine start taking an early lead if somewhat in controversial means, nevertheless capitalised strong in the final 3rd quick on the ball scoring two more in quick succession before adding a 4th whilst keeping Norwich quiet at the other end the host yet to trouble the keeper have seen little action in the final 3rd. Backs to the wall the hosts have a mountain to climb if they hop to salvage anything from the game half-time a chance to regroup if they are you think the next goal has to be theirs’s and it will have to come early on.

The hosts making a change at the break with Aimee Durrant coming on for Nche on the right side. No changes for Billericay as Norwich get the 2nd period underway win a corner on the right side early on bring players up from the back, the delivery in near post headed on by a defender onto the roof of the net for a 2nd corner, again from the right is dropped in centrally headed clear by the Billericay defence.

 GOAL! The break on the ball pushed up to Lockett bursting on through the middle takes it on into her stride has Drewe breaking on the left rolls the ball on into her feet the left sided attacker moving the ball on into the area before stroking a shot wide of the keeper and in 0-5.

  The perfect start to the 2nd half for Billericay, the worst case scenario for Norwich. Billericay full of confidence getting forwards at will O’Shea with her pace breaks forwards central with Lockett to her right picks her out the ball into the box claimed by Walford at her near post. Norwich rocked, have been on the back foot throughout, Drake sliding in to get the ball back Gooding clips into Durrant right side attempts to drive on, Jones putting in the tackle for Billericay. 

Norwich’s, Aimee Durrant

  Blackie with the forward pass into Rushen outside the box, shifts the ball between her feet 20 yards out before releasing a shot, blocked it skips up for Lockett to chip over the keeper and into the goal beyond but it won’t count as her celebrations a cut short by a raised offside flag. Durrant getting hold of the ball is looking to get up to support Symonds feeds the ball into her path out on the right Symonds has to go it alone no one in the box, pushing on Lumley closes her down to make the tackle regain possession. Harper with a rare opportunity to get forwards from the back for Norwich on the right delivers an early cross into the box, Mullett can claim it high unchallenged inside her six yard box. 

Jay Blackie controlling the midfield for Billericay

 Drewe shifts the ball between her feet left side looking to skip past one player, going down the line rides another tackle before squaring the ball into the area from the by-line Walford down inside her six yard box to lay claim to the ball. 

  Remains high tempo from Billericay, Norwich with no respite as Jones powers forwards on the left making it to the by-line before hooking a cross into the near post O’Shea attacking in close on the goalkeeper, takes a deflection off Walford on its way wide giving the visitors a corner. Taken short before being sent long to the far post where no one can get a touch on it before it runs out of play.

 Billericay make their first change on 55 minutes bringing off Morton on in her place comes Leonie Bezant to make her debut. The visitors remain rapid in their build up play Rushen on to Lockett who turns and shoots right outside the D the effort straight at Wolford in the Norwich goal. Daviss on the overlap with Symonds for Norwich just too much on the final ball allowing Billericay to clear. O’Shea wins the ball high up the pitch right side turns and strikes a shot in on the angle from 25 yards out, well struck but Walford sees it all the way.

  Drewe closing in on the top of the box left side sends a cross in along the 18 yard line, Lockett goes to strike it first time her effort is blocked by the Norwich defence. The visitors are attacking at will Lockett picking it up central has Rushen breaking on towards the area passes the ball, Rushen checks back playing it back to the advancing Bezant, she attempts to thread it through for O’Shea central, cut out by Johnston deflects to Drewe left side her cross sent in towards the far post is attacked by Lockett but she can’t get anything on the ball. Drewe’s last action of the game as she is replaced by Ruby Sealey who goes to the right of attack Lockett coming left.

 GOAL! Billericay continue to get forwards at will O’Shea finding space around the top of the box it is Rushen with the assist in the final 3rd central clipping a diagonal ball into O’Shea on the move in space clipping a shot over the keeper from the top of the area for her 2nd of the match 0-6.

Logan O’Shea on the attack for Billericay

  Billericay making another change this time at the back Jeffkins coming off with Danica Dougal going into a centre back role. Billericay comfortable both ends the defence under no pressure the full back pressing on to help the attack keeping a dispirited Norwich penned back. The hosts just looking for that spark that would at least give them something. Durrant on the right crosses in central Daviss in an advanced position taking it into her feet outside the area moves left then right looking for a way through, Dougal slowing her down before Lumley closes her down to win the ball. 

 A free-kick to Norwich wide right both sides guilty of giving needless fouls away as the game moves into the final 20 minutes. Durrant to play it into the area headed clear Billericay look to break left side, Lockett almost upended as a sliding challenge comes in manages to stay on her feet advantage played goes on Norwich get back as Parsons deals with the ball lifted into the box. 

Mia Lockett managing to keep on her feet after being tackled for Billericay

Into the final 20 minutes and a double change for Billericay as Jones and Rushen are replaced by Freya Fuller and Mayzee Seymour. A long diagonal ball clipped out to the left sees Norwich’s Stanley find her way in behind the Billericay defence into the box Mullett comes to close the angle Stanley looking to lift the ball past her the pair collide, Mullett pole-axed on the ground Stanley is after the deflected ball out to the left the angle tight digs a shot out but the visiting defence is round on the cover to clear on the line. Play stopped so the goalkeeper can receive treatment. Groggy but able to continue Mullett is clapped by the crowd as she gets back to her feet.

Winning the ball at the back Johnston sends it forwards for Durrant bursting into space on the right, Lumley getting across well from centre back to put in the tackle prevent Durrant going on. Both sides tiring challenges late leading to free-kicks late in the game, Lockett brought down 25 yards out on the left O’Shea playing it short to Blackie, closed down well by Drake up to Symonds clear on the right Mullett alert out of her area onto it launching back upfield. Norwich make a 2nd change Katie Walker coming no for Drake with 10 minutes left to play. The substitute combining with Symonds on the right as Norwich attack put in central Durrant never gets it under control as she drags her 25 yard shot wide of the mark.

GOAL! 7th heaven for Billericay as another player claims a goal on her debut and is a superb strike to boot as the visitors break attacking right side the ball squared inside 25 yards out Bezant on the end of it unmarked strikes the ball hard whipping it up and over the keeper to score 0-7.

A goal on debut for Leonie Bezant.

A change at the back for Norwich with Izzy Collins going it at centre back late on Johnston pushed up.

GOAL! Billericay make it a quick fire double to extend their lead further coming right a ball sent up into the area attacked near side by Bezant knocked up into the air Norwich can’t deal with the threat dropping pops out to the right straight into the path of Fuller who drills her volley in from close range 0-8.

Lockett picking up a yellow card in the closing stages as the foul count keeps rising. Norwich frustrated nothing they’ve tried has come off, Billericay adding goals late on keeping their energy levels high. Lumley getting forwards with the ball playing it into Rushen central turns into traffic, Parsons urging her side on. The game long settled however the visitors celebrating a convincing win to open their campaign.

Billericay captain, Courtney Lumley

Full time Norwich City Women 0-8 Billericay Town Women

  A convincing performance from start to finish for Billericay to get their season off to a fantastic start, on top right from the start with a somewhat controversial goal nevertheless got them on the front foot, don’t know how much it unsettled Norwich certainly the hosts struggled to get going Billericay strong in the final third their front 3 pushing on Drewe and O’Shea using the width well kept Norwich penned in. Scoring 3 goals in quick succession taking the game by the scruff of the net looked comfortable even untroubled in defence. An early goal 2nd half killing off any hope Norwich had of getting back into the match. Lively and energetic Billericay have laid down a marker to the rest of the sides in the division. An opening day to forget for Norwich never got going never got to grips with the midfield and never allowed any time on the ball couldn’t find an outlet ball. Can only look to put it behind them get on the training ground and regroup.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto the first Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. No surprise it’s going to be a Billericay player the question is which one. Was a strong team performance the driving force being the attacking trio, Mia Lockett full of pace bursting forwards into space central setting up a number of chances. Likewise on the left Shannan Drewe with a strong performance on debut moving well out on the flank coming inside taking her two goals well. The award though goes to Logan O’Shea attacking on the the right was a handful for the Norwich defence throughout and constantly available as Billericay looked to get on the front foot throughout the match scoring two goals.

  It’s good to be back covering games and look forwards to many more this season. Always say I’ll try writing less but I never do. Women’s football is often action packed from start to finish. Never know what the report will look like just let the words flow. My thanks to both clubs for their help with the all important team details a contrasting day wish both all the best for the season ahead.

by Darren Gilham

 

Cup Final Special – Mulbarton Belles Ladies v Norwich City Women

Wednesday 19th May

Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final

sponsored by Harrod Sport

It’s been over 440 days since the last one but it’s great to be covering a Cup Final match once again. The FDC the venue for his evening’s Final for the Norfolk Women’s County Cup seeing newly formed Mulbarton Belles Ladies playing just their 7th competitive fixture taking on Norwich City Women.

  The Covid pandemic of course the reason for so many games and finals being lost, football returning after the 3rd lockdown ended towards the end of match seeing alot of league football being declared null & void. Norfolk FA making the decision to play their county cup competitions, including the women’s cup, receiving a sponsor for the first time Harrod Sport.

 Norwich City Women making it to the final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup for the 1st time since 2014. Norfolk’s leading female side competing in the FAWNL South East Division One dominated the competition from it’s inaugural year in the 2010/11 season winning the cup 4 season’s in a row. A period away from the competition followed, before the club returned 3 season’s ago going to to make it all the way the the final last time out where they were due to face back to back winners Wymondham Town Ladies at Carrow Road only for the season to be curtailed due to the pandemic. Norwich have had a few season’s of transition finding themselves at the wrong end of the league but now under new management and with a new home at The Nest, a wonderful sporting venue newly built on the outskirts of the city are hoping to begin a new era by lifting some silverware.

 In complete contrast are Mulbarton Belles Ladies are the new kids on the block, didn’t play their first competitive fixture till 1st November 2020 and have due to the lockdown played just 6 in total. A new side reaching the final but for several Mulbarton players not the first County Cup final they’ve experienced. The original Mulbarton Belles team folding a few years back, the club was approached last year by a group of players who had fallen out with their previous club, thing’s getting messy then, the players just wanting to play football and being prevented from doing so, didn’t want to be broken up. An EGM was eventually called and although some clubs were unhappy with the decision Mulbarton Belles Ladies were allowed to join the league entering NWGFL Division One, just two matches were played however before the November lockdown hit with the NWGFL season being declared null & void after that, a temporary competition the Challenge Cup taking up the remainder of the season. The Mulbarton players taking part in a number of challenges during lockdown to raise money for charity. Know they face there toughest challenge yet with there opponents competing three leagues above.

Road to the Final

  The Norfolk Women’s County Cup returning after lockdown, Mulbarton Belles Ladies taking part in the 1st Round at home, fought out a 0-0 draw with Division Two title contenders Stalham Town Ladies eventually progressing on penalties. Mulbarton were at home again in the 2nd Round taking on fellow Division One side, Fakenham Town Women, captain Rebekah Lake on target scoring 5 goals as Mulbarton went on to win the game 10-1 to set up a quarter final tie away to ERWFL Premier Division side Wroxham Women. A tough match with Mulbarton the underdogs however they were to find the back of the net scoring the only goal of the game to book their spot in the semi-finals were they were once again at home taking on another Division One side Sprowston Athletic Ladies who themselves were mounting a strong challenge at the top end of the table before the season was curtailed. Lake putting Mulbarton 1-0, their opponents got it back to 1-1 to send the game to penalties. For the 2nd time in the competition Mulbarton came out on top in the shootout winning 3-1 to make it through to the final after just 6 competitive matches as a side.

Mulbarton celebrating after winning the penalty shootout to reach the County Cup Final (photo credit Hardy Scott Photo’s)

Norwich City Women along with ERWFL Premier Division sides, Wroxham Women and Cup holders Wymondham Town Ladies received a bye through to the quarter finals of the competition. The draw throwing out a tough tie as Norwich were drawn at home to play Wymondham, the pair due to met in the final the previous season, Women’s Football East went along to watch was a strong display from Norwich who pushed Wymondham back from the off getting players forwards whilst limiting the threat their opponents carried up the other end. For all the chances Norwich created Wymondham defended strongly and it wasn’t till late in the game another driving run from Ellie Smith forced an error seeing an own goal scored that in the end proving to be enough to send Norwich into the the semi finals. There they were drawn at home once more taking on the 2018/19 finalists King’s Lynn Town Ladies. Norwich strong in the final third once again, clinical as they wrapped up the game 7-0. Aimee Durrant scoring a hat-trick, with Natasha Snelling also on target for a brace, along with one for Ellie Smith and Megan Todd from the penalty spot to see Norwich reach back to back finals and this time getting to play.

The venue for this evenings final the FDC Bowthorpe ‘The Field of Dreams’ restrictions easing spectators are once again permitted, each club offered an allocation of tickets that were eagerly snapped up. Covid protocols in, the staff at the FDC as eager to welcome fans back as anyone else. A large grass pitch a small seated stand and snack hut on one side. The weather bright a nice evening the heavy showers we’ve suffered of late not forecast. 

Mulbarton Belles Ladies

Mulbarton Belles Ladies starting XI – Cara Anderson, Olivia Mungham-Gray, Melissa Belsey Vicky McNorton, Megan Belsey, Laura Hedtke, Alice Smith, Sophie Jermy, Ellie Hunter, Bryony Knights & Rebekah Lake (C). Subs – Morgan Devine, Annaliese Smith, Meg Anderton, Millie Cursons & Julie Robathan.

Norwich City Women

Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn Nichols, Anna Larkins, Alice Parker, Kate Parsons, Izzy Collins, Millie Daviss (C), Ellie Smith, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley, Megan Todd & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Jordan Arnoup, Brooke Osbourne, Reeanna Cook, Leilah Gooding & Jess Harper.

(roll on roll of substitutes)

   An huge lose for Mulbarton going into this evenings final having lost Alice Ladbrooke who suffered a broken bone in her leg during the semi-final against Sprowston Athletic Ladies, a midfielder with huge experience. The teams lining up around the centre circle before kick-off to firstly honour a minutes silence in memory of those lost to Covid during these traumatic times and 9 year old Jordan Banks from Blackpool who was tragically  killed by a lightning strike during a coaching session last week. This followed by a minutes applause thanking those in the NHS.

 

 It’s Norwich to get the final underway kicking off 1st half wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Mulbarton lined up opposite wearing black and blue vertical striped shirts with blue shorts and socks. Norwich send the ball long out to the left for Kathryn Stanley to attack, full back Melissa Belsey can let it run out of play for Mulbarton. Norwich quickly on the offensive playing the ball on looking to get runners through left and right, Aimee Durrant racing clear coming inside from the right, the ball skips off the surface allowing goalkeeper Cara Anderson to claim inside her box.

Anderson needing to be on her toes right from the off as Norwich midfielder, Ellie Smith grabs hold of the ball on halfway and bursts forwards into the right channel before sending it on for Durrant ahead of her, she in turn sweeps a long diagonal ball into the area, Anderson taking it into her gloves on the bounce as Megan Todd comes barrelling in. Melissa Belsey cutting the ball out at the back for Mulbarton clears it out to Ellie Hunter on the left side, turns looking to get up the pitch, as her captain Rebekah Lake providing a run ahead of her, can’t find her as Norwich’s Anna Larkins steps in to win the ball back into Smith put on for Durrant on the right, Olivia Mungham-Gray challenging for Mulbarton.

Ellie Smith bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Smith lively for Norwich, a feature of her game as she collects the ball in midfield and drives forwards with it, into space plays has Stanley coming across the top of the area, Megan Belsey lunging in to deny her the ball. Norwich stay on the right winning the first corner of the game. Fired in across the face of goal referee Cameron Saunders spots a Norwich push and awards Mulbarton the free-kick. Laura Hedtke getting hold of the ball central for Mulbarton links up with Alice Smith bringing the ball on, spreads play to Hunter on the left attempts to play it through for Lake in attack, Norwich’s Kate Parsons is tight on her ensures she doesn’t get the ball. Play is quickly turned around Smith with a strong run moving right a cross cut back along the top of the area, Vicky McNorton intercepting for Mulbarton, the defence busy in the opening five minutes, Norwich quick out of the traps. 

 GOAL! Norwich regaining possession in the middle, captain Millie Daviss with Smith close to her bringing the ball clear moving right lays it on for Durrant already on the move able to take the ball in her stride charges down to the by-line doing well to get inside her marker before flashing a dangerous ball into the six yard box Todd running in throws herself at the ball as it evades the keeper and sends it into the back of the net 0-1.

  An early blow for Mulbarton their defence under pressure from the off conceding a 6th minute goal, Norwich are straight on the attack getting another corner on the right, players up from the back the delivery long headed back in across goal, Mulbarton have players defending the post the one on the right getting a head on the ball the defence scrambling it clear. Can’t get any momentum going forwards the ball quickly back with Norwich out on the right Durrant’s cross lands on the roof of the net.

  If she can get the service Lake is as good a striker as anyone at making a run on goal, closely watched by Parsons, moves to the right as Hedtke sends an early pass up to Sophie Jermy who puts it into the channel, Lake escapes off Parsons shoulder after the ball, gains momentum as it bounces allowing goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn Nichols to get her gloves around it before Lake can reach it. Releases it quickly helped on Norwich line up a strike from distance 35 yards out left side, hitting the advertising boards beside Anderson’s goal. 

Natasha Snelling has the ball at her feet for Norwich in a central position 25 out, no one closes her down lines up the shot, slips however as she goes to strike the ball, screwing her effort wide off target. With Stanley, Todd, Snelling and Durrant coming on well in attack, Smith carries a threat for Norwich able to get on with the ball from midfield difficult to track isn’t allowing Mulbarton any time to settle at all. Mungham-Gray especially occupied with Durrant on the right the defender doing well stepping in to deny her on a couple of occasions. Smith surging on towards to top of the area lays it into Durrant, close to her right the winger attempting to return the pass into Smith’s run into the area, Megan Belsey with a solid piece of defending for Mulbarton.

 

   Opportunities for Mulbarton to get forwards rare, Smith getting it out to Hunter on the left she sends a crossfield ball up to Jermy coming central from the right 20 yards out hits it her her effort blocked, rebounds back down to Smith who hits it from a long way out, Izzy Collins cutting the shot out for Norwich. Hunter on the ball left for Mulbarton shifts it getting on up the line Lake coming over to her side offering the passing option, Hunter checks inside looking to get inside Larkins, Collins coming across to support the full back winning the challenge for Norwich. Stanley is caught offside as Mulbarton step out well at the back. 

Mulbarton’s Ellie Hunter

  Todd powers her way through the middle bringing the ball on stopped by McNorton. Parsons delivers a fantastic long pass from the back over the top for Snelling to chase, Anderson from a good starting position able to get to the edge of her area to see the ball safely into her gloves. Smith with space on the ball attempts to put it on into the right channel for Lake to attack, turns Parsons angling to get a yard on her, Parsons though lunges into the tackle taking the ball away from the striker. Collins at the back for Norwich into Smith left fires it into Snelling top of the area left come lays it off for Stanley making the run on the left flank, turns inside heading into the box, Melissa Belsey tackling well for Mulbarton denying an opportunity on goal.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

  Smith charges into space with the ball right side has Snelling attacking the near post plays the ball looking for her, Megan Belsey with the striker sliding in to take the ball for Mulbarton, can’t get it away however Norwich getting a throw on the right Durrant inside for Larkins getting upfield she whips a cross in from the top corner of the area flashes wide across the Mulbarton area, Stanley racing in far post can’t quite get there as it evades the goal by the merest of fractions. Norwich on top, Mulbarton can’t get any respite, even when they do win a free-kick Norwich are quick to win it back and turn play around Smith putting an early ball in for Durrant central getting clear of the defence once again however Anderson comes well to take at the top of her area. 

  The woodwork comes to the rescue for Mulbarton as Durrant 25 yards plus out right side attempts the strike fired in well on the angle over Anderson, smashes against the bar and spins out to the left. Megan Belsey called into action does well against Snelling as she drives at the area from a central position off Todd’s pass. Norwich using the width well Stanley left firing a dangerous ball into the area is just behind Snelling at the far post, Durrant out right looks to retrieve checks inside but doesn’t get the better of Mungham-Gray. 

Mulbarton’s Olivia Mungham-Gray holding off Norwich’s Aimee Durrant

   Norwich with a corner on the right side a pinpoint delivery fired into the six yard box met firmly by Parsons who sees her header driven up to smash down off the crossbar. Mulbarton scramble it out of their box but it comes straight back a shot fired wide left of the D. Both the Belsey twins, McNorton and Mungham-Gray are battling to keep Norwich at bay in defence for Mulbarton the FAWNL side coming forwards in waves it’s a question of how much pressure can be soaked up can’t get the ball up to Lake. Larkins up with Durrant on the right the ball fired into the area comes to Stanley wide of the far post lay it off for Smith charging in towards the top of the area her low strike comes straight into Anderson. Mungham-Gray defends on Smith as the midfielder attempts to skip into the area making a right channel run as Snelling brings the ball on through the middle.

 GOAL! A feature of the game as Norwich double there lead the ball plays direct diagonally from the middle out to Durrant getting in behind on the right side Anderson coming out to close her down, Durrant gets there first this time, getting her foot up onto the ball to send it past the advancing keeper and bounce on into the goal beyond 0-2. 

Aimee Durrant putting Norwich 2 up

  Norwich’s Daviss plays the ball on for Stanley left the ball crossed into the area Smith central attacking it on the penalty spot, Megan Belsey with a last gasp tackle sliding in on her does enough, blocking the shot deflecting Smith’s attempt over. Mulbarton are attempting to get out of there area following a corner on the right, Collins getting it back to Larkins right crossing from deep falls to Parsons still up from the back at the far post 10 yards out gets up well putting power into her downwards header, on target Anderson with a fantastic save diving to her right to push the ball away. 

 GOAL! The clock running down in the first half there is no let up from Norwich, Smith with another powerful run from the middle onto the D put it inside to Stanley furthest forwards meets the pass with a clipped shot that sees the ball loop up and fly beyond the keeper to nestle in the back of the goal 0-3. 

 Norwich finish the half strong Smith getting on with the ball 20 out looking to put it into the path of Durrant travelling into the area, Megan Belsey making the challenge for Mulbarton.

Half-time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 0-3 Norwich City Women

  A strong first half performance from Norwich see them in a strong position leading 3-0 at the break. Right from the off were at the Mulbarton defence, there attackers providing strong runs left and right and through the middle. With Daviss sitting in midfield Smith has been able to come on at will the Mulbarton defence busy, little opportunity to get the ball into Lake up top cause a few questions up the other end. Alot of work put in by the Mulbarton defence would have taken alot out of them, hard to see their being any respite 2nd half. 

Laura Hedtke with the ball for Mulbarton

  A change for Mulbarton with Meg Anderton joining the action the floodlights starting to take affect the surface slick no with a coating of dew. Mulbarton getting the 2nd half underway. The ball put long to the right Lake having Jermy up with her lays it back for her to send into the box as lake spins in behind, Quinn-Nichols coming across can claim the ball on the bounce before anything can come of it. Norwich come up the right the ball on for Snelling clear for a moment (is in theory on a hat-trick having gotten credited for both Durrant’s and Stanley’s first half goals) attempts to lob the advancing keeper, however doesn’t get it wide enough allowing Anderson to pluck it down. 

Mulbarton captain, Rebekah Lake (phot credit Hardy Scott Photos)

  A mazy run from Durrant on the right, shifts the ball inside evading Mungham-Gray’s sliding challenge firing a cross into the box Smith arriving meeting it first time blasting her effort wide. Hedtke plays the ball on for Jermy, Lake comes to receive the pass, 30 yards out, attempts to peel around Parsons, but the ball is there for Alice parker to clear. Snelling advancing on the right as the ball is fed up the line, Megan Belsey sliding in to take the ball off her feet away for a throw. 

Norwich’s Natasha Snelling

Hedtke finding a little room in the centre fires it through for Lake to attack central, getting momentarily away from Parsons the centre back recovers well throwing herself into the lunging tackle to block the run of Lake deflect the ball away to the right. Norwich get bodies up on the left Parker sending it on for Stanley, Smith going with her powering towards the top of the area Melissa Belsey sliding into the tackle, grounded as Stanley is able to gather the loose ball send it back into the crowd Snelling is upended a penalty given.

 GOAL! Parsons comes up from the back to take the set-piece placing the ball on the spot, takes it confidently opening her body sending the keeper the wrong way to stroke a low shot home 0-4.

Norwich adding to their lead early in the 2nd half. Durant full of running on the left jinks inside looking to go beyond Mungham-Gray however the full back recovers lunging into the tackle taking it away from Durrant, Megan Belsey clearing from inside the box. Larkins up on the right lofts a cross in towards the near post, Anderson catching well not distracted by the onrushing Todd. Changes for Norwich as they bring off Todd and Durrant, Reeanna Cook and Brooke Osbourne. 

  Mungham-Gray with a timely interception as Smith prods it on for Norwich having drifted over to the right. Norwich with a corner on the right players up Cook putting it in near post goes through a mass of bodies out to the far side kept in by Snelling lays it up to the top of the area for Collins her diagonal ball in claimed well by Anderson. 

 GOAL! Norwich stretching the tiring Mulbarton defence now get away on the right Snelling taking the ball on in behind to the by-line before sending a looping cross in along the face of goal, Stanley arriving unmarked far post with a simple nod in from all of a foot out 0-5.

  On come Norwich as Daviss dispossesses Hedtke in the middle play out to Osbourne on the right, tries to pick out Snellings central run Melissa Belsey just about getting in front of her to defend take it out of the area. Smith seeing a goal ruled out for offside, as Parker plays it up the left for Stanley sees Smith on the move but the midfielder strays beyond the defence before the ball is played. Parker on for Stanley left side again keeps it in taking it on up the line checking back inside to evade the tackle lets fly from the angle 20 yards out her shot straight into Anderson. 

  Lake evades Parsons in behind her as Hedtke feeds her a good through ball central, Collins is quickly round on the cover getting shoulder to shoulder with lake easing her off the ball. Smith up on the right with Osbourne ahead of her, the pair link well before Smith puts it into the path of Snelling attacking right of the D, Megan Belsey back tracking lunging to deflect the ball up and away for a corner kick. Cook firing in a dangerous ball to the far post Snelling getting under the ball powering a header towards goal the Mulbarton woodwork claiming a hat-trick of it’s own as for the 3rd time a Norwich player sees an attempt at goal denied by the crossbar!

 Norwich bring on Jess Harper for Larkins. Annaliese Smith comes on for Mulbarton replacing Melissa Belsey. The pace of the game slowing with the changes Norwich have made, having used the pitch well with a healthy lead are content to let Mulbarton come on a bit hit them on the counter. Smith still full of running charging on for Norwich, Megan Belsey standing up to her inside the area blocking her effort, Smith getting a 2nd bite puts it straight at the keeper. Megan Belsey goes down suffering from cramp a pause in play follows. Daviss off for Norwich with Leilah Gooding being sent on. One Belsey twin replaces the other with Melissa returning to the action for Megan.

  Osbourne springing the offside trap on the right getting down the line checking inside allows Mungham-Gray the opportunity to tackle the corner conceded. Anderson can’t get it near post, the defence scrambling it away beyond as Stanley goes to attack it. 

 GOAL! A well worked 6th goal for Norwich with the game moving into the final quarter hour coming on up the left the ball on for Stanley into the area her momentum risking her taking he ball out of play performs the back heel sending it straight to the on rushing Snelling, defenders drawn to her the number 10 sends it straight back to Stanley who from the angle six yards out strikes it on the rise to loop up across the keeper and in at the far post 0-6. A cup final hat-trick for Stanley.

A cup final hat-trick for Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

  Mulbarton bring on Julia Robathan to replace Melissa Belsey. The substitute with the ball straight away playing it out wide to Anderton on the left sends a diagonal ball in towards the near post is intercepted by Gooding for Norwich. The game moving into the final 10 minutes Anderson to the top of her area gathering the ball in a both Snelling and Osbourne race in behind after a ball from Smith. Morgan Devine coming on for Mulbarton replacing Hedtke. Stanley hitting a shot on the run from 20 yards out in the right channel seeing it run wide. Her last action of the game as she comes off with Todd back on. 

  Lake keeps trying to get free up top, goes after a ball put on from Robathan down the right gets inside the full back into the box, too much on it however as Quinn-Nichols comes to collect near post. Norwich striking from distance put across the area takes a slight deflection the ball out for a corner kick.

 GOAL! Players up from the back the delivery fired in with pace from the left into the six yard box, the ball dangerous head height is met firmly by Parsons who powers the header home 0-7.

  Mulbarton have given it there all players are struggling now but still battling hard in defence, Todd through the left channel sending it on for Snelling, Smith and McNorton close in on her outside the area the ball deflected back to Todd behind she strikes the shot her goal bound effort pushed away well by Anderson diving at her far post. The game moving into stoppage time Parsons off with Daviss sent back on. Todd with on final strike on goal from all of 30 yards out held by Anderson.

Full time Mulbarton Belles Ladies 0-7 Norwich City Women

  The final whistle blows and 7 years since they last lifted the trophy Norwich win 7-0 to be crowned County Cup winners again. A strong performance right from the first minute stayed on the front foot throughout the front 4 dangerous a constant threat backed up by Smith in the centre. Taking an early lead were comfortable at 3-0 at the break carrying on where they left off in the 2nd half. A valiant effort from Mulbarton who were no match on the day battled hard in defence throughout. Reaching a cup final in your debut season a magical achievement.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. A few performances to mention can’t single out a single defender for Mulbarton they all battled hard putting in some vital challenges throughout had to soak up alot of pressure. Going forwards Norwich were strong relentless. Amy Durrant out on the right. Natasha Snelling through the middle. A close run thing in the end though, between two players, Ellie Smith’s runs from the middle proving impossible to stop, edging it though and agreeing with official award has to be Kathryn Stanley great movement off the ball got into some fantastic positions and took her hat-trick superbly.

Kathryn Stanley collecting the PoM award for this evenings final

Fantastic too to see a good crowd at a football match again 180 in attendance. The whole occasion run well by the staff at the FDC. Norwich City Women the 2020/21 Norfolk County Cup Winners. Congratulations.

Norwich City Women win the 2020/21 County Cup

  Great to be at a final once again has been too long, an enjoyable occasion all round. My thanks to everyone at the FDC for their help this evening much appreciated. Great to catch up with a few football friends too.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Wymondham Town Ladies


Sunday 2nd May

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

 Sponsored by Harrod Sport

 The football action on Women’s Football East this weekend comes from the quarter finals of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup quarter finals and a match that should have been the final last season as Norwich City Women take on Wymondham Town Ladies. 

This weekend seeing the whole of English football and several other sporting bodies taking part in a social media boycott until 23:59pm Mon 3rd May in protest against the growing wave of racism and discriminatory abuse directed at players and clubs alike. Asking as one for the social media giants to do more about it. Social media can be a fantastic way for football to engage with fans and certainly women’s football has become a leader in this but for a while now for a minority it has brought out the worst and needs to be addressed. Women’s Football East supports the boycott hence no coverage of this weekends game.

 A tie between two of the leading sides in Norfolk, both will fancy there chances of going all the way. The quarter final draw pitting them together as both enter the competition at this stage along with ERWFL Premier Division side, Wroxham Women. Wymondham Town Ladies back to back winners of the County Cup looking to keep up the defence of the trophy they held onto back in the 2019 final against King’s Lynn Town Ladies played at the first time at Carrow Road the home of Norwich City FC. The Covid pandemic seeing the competition ending before that final could take place last season. 

Norfolk FA pushing on with their County Cup competitions as most leagues have been declared null & void with football only able to return at the start of April due to a 3 month lockdown and too much of the season being lost. A boost for the women’s county cup too as it is sponsored for the first time Harrod Sport one of the world’s leading sports equipment manufacturers signing a 3-year deal to support the competition.

 Norwich City Women playing in the FAWNL South East Division One having reached the final last time out after a period away from the competition. Dominated the county cup early on in it’s inaugural season back in 2010/11 winning the trophy and defending it successfully for 4 seasons before stepping away. Returned three of season’s ago, reaching the final last time out before seeing the season curtailed. Like most leagues the FAWNL was declared null & void and whereas others have set-up temporary competitions to fill what weeks remain of the season the FAWNL didn’t leaving sides to organise post-season friendlies. Thus the County Cup presenting a great opportunity for Norwich to challenge for silverware something the club having been in something of a transition period hasn’t done for a while.

  Standing in Norwich’s way however are the current holders Wymondham Town Ladies, back to back winners the club has risen through the pyramid of women’s football in Norfolk to become one of the leading sides. Reaching the ERWFL Premier Division, were in a strong position at the top of a competitive table before sadly seeing the season end. The ERWFL setting up a Challenge Cup competition to fill the gap, teams form both divisions drawn into 4 groups with the winners going on to compete in a finals day featuring semi-finals and final aswell as a 3rd place play-off match. Wymondham drawn into what would be the group of death if you follow the leagues along side fellow Premier Division sides St Ives Town Ladies, Colney Heath Ladies and Luton Town Ladies along with Division One North side Needham Market Women. 2 wins and a draw including a 2-1 win against Luton Town Ladies last time out putting Wymondham in a strong position to finish top of their group with just Needham Market Women to play. Have been playing competitive football which may just give them an edge over Norwich 

The Nest the venue for today’s quarter final. The new home for Norwich City Women who were keen to get involved with the project from the very start. Was still being build the last time I was here one a very wet and windy day for Norwich’s semi-final with Wroxham back in 2020. Progress has been rapid. A new state of the art facility constructed, with cafe clubhouse and function room leading out onto a new 3G playing surface. Situated on the outskirts north of the city past the airport, features multi-sports pitches and is aiming to become another leading community sports facility within the county. A better day weather wise this time round a few clouds around but otherwise sunny and pleasant.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols, Anna Larkins, Alice Parker, Kate Parsons, Izzy Collins, Millie Daviss (C), Ellie Smith, Megan Todd, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Brooke Osbourne, Reeanna Cook & Jess Harper.

Wymondham Town Ladies starting XI – Chloe Pearce, Chelsea Clarke, Leah Newcombe (C), Lauren Kett, Chardonnay Johnston, Katie Knights, Jennifer Codman, Freya Symonds, Natasha Youngs, Rebecca Russell & Hannah Waters. Subs – Laura Nicholls, Francesca Catchpole & Mary Croft.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Good to see players returning from long term injuries featuring with Megan Todd in the starting line up for Norwich and Chardonnay Johnston starting in defence for Wymondham having both suffered from ACL’s. It’s Norwich to kick-off the game wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Wymondham lined up opposite wearing red shirts and shorts with black socks. The ball put out to the right for Aimee Durrant to have an early run at the Wymondham defence is soon closed down the ball cleared up field.

Aimee Durrant brings the ball forwards for Norwich

Hannah Waters leading the attack for Wymondham, is looking to break in behind the Norwich central defence the ball threaded through for her to gather 30 yards out, she is closely marshalled by both centre backs, Kate Parsons in to tackle with Izzy Collins around on the cover the ball won back Norwich look to push players on captain Millie Daviss on the ball in the middle of the park playing the pass out to Kathryn Stanley moving into the left channel knocks it forwards but can’t get the better of Wymondham right back and captain Leah Newcombe.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss

   Newcombe defends again moments later as Daviss playing a give and go with Alice Parker on the left attempts to run in behind a throw conceded inside the Wymondham half , into Todd’s feet she turns and drives towards the box, shoots left of the D takes a deflection off a defender sending it behind for a corner kick. The delivery long from the left towards the far post his headed over. Dropping deep at times Wymondham are allowing Norwich to come on with the ball, Todd dribbling the ball on combining with Natasha Snelling up top winning a throw. 

Norwich’s, Megan Todd

 Parker and Anna Larkins at right back have space to run into as Wymondham drop everyone bar Waters into their own half. The game cagey at times passes rushed, Wymondham anting to play out from the back Norwich’s attacking players closing down well snapping at the ball, Stanley putting Newcombe under pressure, Chardonnay Johnston closing in challenging to prevent her taking the ball on into the area. Freya Symonds getting hold of the ball on through for Waters, Collins and Parsons however staying tight on her, finds no way through.

Norwich attacker, Natasha Snelling with Wymondham defender, Chardonnay Johnston

   An opportunity for Newcombe to get out from the back on the right for Wymondham crosses the halfway line before delivering a high diagonal ball into the top of the Norwich area, Collins heading it to safety for the hosts. Norwich moving the ball quickly, passes not always finding there mark, the energy high, Todd and Stanley making forwards runs to support Snelling up top, Wymondham defending deep are keeping a solid shape, no one able to find a way through. Larkins puts a high diagonal cross into the box, Todd furthest forwards on the penalty spot getting her head on the ball, loops it up towards goal, Wymondham goalkeeper Chloe Pearce with a confident take under her bar. 

Wymondham’s Hannah Waters with Norwich’s, Kathryn Stanley

   Space for Natasha Youngs to run into playing on the right for Wymondham as she is fed the ball from Rebecca Russell in the middle takes it on, Parsons racing across to close her down, takes the ball as Youngs checks back inside. Having soaked up some pressure Wymondham are beginning to find some joy on the flanks, Chelsea Clarke left side playing the ball long towards the top of the area with Youngs providing the run her shot blocked by Parker on the edge of the box. Katie Knights playing the ball on for Symonds as Wymondham build from the back play spread to Youngs out wide right whips a cross back in across the top of the Norwich area, Russell racing into the D, the ball taken off her toes by the defence. 

Wymondham’s, Rebecca Russell

  Pearce is forced into making a quality save as out of nowhere a long distance strike in fired into the area bouncing up off the 3G surface threatens to creep in under the bar, Pearce back peddling tipping it up over her crossbar. Swung into the area Parsons up highest near side looks to head it on across the area, Snelling gathers it but is forced out of the box by the Wymondham defence. 25 minutes played a pause as Symonds receives treatment inside the Norwich area.

  Stanley is brought down by Newcombe giving Norwich a free kick 30 yards out on the left. Parker to deliver. Played into the far post Todd looks coming round the back stretching can’t get there. Looking to play out from the back almost costs Wymondham a moment later as Pearce’s ball rolled to the top of the area is pounced upon by Stanley nipping in ahead of the defender takes it inside into the D, striking it well a curling effort flying towards the top corner, Pearce recovers well however as she dives across at full stretch to make the save beating the ball away to the right.

Wymondham goalkeeper, Chloe Pearce

  With Parker and Larkins able to come forwards at will for Norwich they have plenty of bodies inside the Wymondham half, Ellie Smith linking with Daviss in the middle, Jennifer Codman stretching a legs cutting out the pass intended for Snelling 20 yards out. Stanley travels with the ball through the middle, pushed onto Snelling she sees Parker making a run of the left the diagonal ball fizzed into her, Parker can’t quite get the intended touch to knock it inside and behind Newcombe as the full back reclaims possession. Durrant takes aim from 25 yards out on the right her shot taking a wicked deflection favours Pearce however the keeper getting down low to claim on her line. 

Wymondham’s Jennifer Codman

 Norwich allowed to come on have been forcing the pace of the game, get caught out as Codman releases Youngs on the right has Waters ahead of her moving into the right channel takes the ball on into the corner turning to send it in towards the top right of the box the ball behind Russell however, Norwich regain possession and are straight on the offensive Todd playing in on for Smith she has Daviss up with her, the Norwich captain spreading play out to Parker surging on down the left pots Stanley bombing into the box crosses, Lauren Kett stepping up to take hold of the ball carry it clear of the box for Wymondham to relieve the pressure.

  Waters is isolated in attack for Wymondham at times but always a willing runners and a constant threat pulling off the shoulder of the last defender, so far she has been well marshalled by Parsons and Collins at the back for Norwich. Russell looking to get on in support whenever she can finds herself up into the final 3rd left of the D, Symonds making a run to her right squares it to her, Parker closing her down defending well for the hosts. Todd comes left on the ball has Stanley in front of her rolls the ball into her path, knocks it inside looking to escape Newcombe but can’t as the full back lunges to take the ball from her feet before she can line up a shot.

Norwich centre back, Izzy Collins

 Wymondham make the first change of the game having taken a knock earlier on it’s Symonds who comes off with Mary Croft coming on. Both Parsons and Youngs are hobbling after the Wymondham winger goes in to make a strong tackle. The game paused again as Youngs needs treatment. Norwich with more of the ball but aren’t really making it count, Wymondham aren’t leaving any gaps at the back, but starting from so deep a position they are finding it hard to get anything going in attack can’t find Waters who has started coming back to get hold of the ball.

Ellie Smith bringing the ball on for Norwich

  Norwich come right the ball squared into the D, Snelling with the back heel helping it on for Parker behind her her tough taking it into the box, shoots bodies in front of her is deflected through to the keeper. Smith joining the attack from midfield adding to Norwich’s threat is upended outside the box but doesn’t get the decision. Norwich with a corner kick however in the right load the six yard box a sweet delivery played in Pearce does superbly under pressure to claim the ball. 

Wymondham goalkeeper Chloe Pearce with a confident take inside a crowded box.

Croft charges down Stanley at the top of the D as the Norwich attacker looks to put her foot through a dropping ball fired in from the right.   Wymondham with a chance to put the ball into the box late in the first half as they are awarded a free-kick inside the Norwich half in the right, Johnston over it aims for the far post runners coming in drops in front of goal, Youngs takes a swing at it is blocked by a Norwich body spinning away to the left. A coming together between Knights and Smith the free-kick given in favour of the visitors a talking too for Smith receives a yellow card but talks herself into further action as she is sin binned. Just the 2nd time it’s been recorded on WF East (and incidentally the first time was for a Norwich player in the County Cup too).

Norwich’s Ellie Smith bemused as the decision goes against her.

 Norwich to end the half with 10 on the pitch, Clarke to play the free-kick wide left forwards into the area bounces through to Youngs at the far post not easy to get under control rising stabs it goalwards, a block put in before goalkeeper Elli-Rai Quinn-Nichols grabs it. 

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Goalless at the break. Norwich with more of the ball have had Wymondham under pressure at times but have yet to create many clear cut opportunities, the best coming from a Wymondham error. Have been able to press the attack get bodies forwards closing down the back line forcing the midfield back leaving Waters isolated up top. Passing has been somewhat loose though that first touch not quite there. Wymondham have kept a solid shape pushed back have left no room in behind for the likes of Todd, Durrant and Stanley. Whilst soaking up the pressure have looked for opportunities creating a couple of half chances themselves. A cagey game it might take an error to give one side the advantage all to play for 2nd half.

  Norwich of course still down to 10 with Smith still sin binned as Wymondham get the 2nd half underway. Norwich quickly regain possession Durrant on the right flashing a ball in to the D, spotting the run of Stanley on the opposite side, the ball bouncing just behind her. Parsons slides in with a strong tackle to take the ball away from Waters as she attempts to knock it on into the box from inside the D on the right. Snelling gathering the ball on halfway drives on with the ball, making ground is eventually hauled down Norwich awarded the free-kick, flashed into the far post on the angle Pearce back peddling is able to claim it unopposed.

Norwich’s Kate Parsons

Parsons with the ball at her feet tries her luck with a long distance strike all of 40 yards out, skipping along the ground finds it way through to the keeper. Clarke checking inside from the left sweeps a diagonal ball into Waters central bringing it down turns straight into Collins. Knights gives herself the room to adjust and make the tackle as Durrant drives on from the right looking to get into the box.

Wymondham make a 2nd change Laura Nicholls coming on to replace Youngs in the right. An early opportunity to run with the ball at her feet right side squares it across the D into Waters, Parker on the cover around to defend for Norwich. Smith returns to the action for Norwich back up to their full compliment get up the right to win a corner. Headed clear at the far post cleared out to the left a shot comes flashing back in on the angle to land in the side netting. Norwich make a change bringing off Durrant, send on Reeanna Cook. Parker smashes the ball in from the angle sees her effort charged down.

Wymondham’s, Freya Symonds

Russell takes the ball on through the middle nudges it on for Waters who plays it back to the advancing Codman she puts her foot through the shot, on target skips up in front of Quinn-Nichols who saves smartly with her feet having so far seen little action. Norwich quick to get up the other end looking sharper with there passing now, Smith looking to get on the offensive through the middle almost steals through into the box, Clarke taking it away from her, Smith on the rebound however sends a shot wide. The additional runs made from midfield starting to stretch the Wymondham defence gaps starting to open up everyone back finding it tough to get out of there half.

  Waters leading the line for Wymondham remains a threat, the visitors comfortable soaking up pressure ready to break, the passes sent forwards Waters a willing chaser, Collins needing to get across to clear 30 yards out. Knights with a talking as she brings down Smith charging on with the ball central. A few strong challenges creeping into the match neither side wanting to give the ball away. Daviss with a hand ball presents Wymondham with a free-kick in a dangerous position central 25 yard out. Croft placing the ball, the wall does its job as the ball is deflected through to the keeper. 

Wymondham’s, Mary Croft

 Russell gets forwards up to support Waters inside the D, Parsons defending well for Norwich clears the threat. Pearce with another solid take from a corner for Wymondham despite the close attention from Todd. Kett stretching cuts out the ball top of her box as Smith surges into the D from the left, a shot flashed in from the other flank goes wide. Kett hurt going for the ball stays down. Needs treatment, a blow as she can’t continue, Symonds returns to the field. The clock ticking down moving into the final 15 minutes.

Norwich right back, Anna Larkins

 GOAL! The deadlock is broken at last as Norwich press the attack, Smith who has been more proactive going forwards in the 2nd period attacking central with Snelling 20 yards out, she spots Larkins racing clear down the right fires the ball into her path taking it on Larkins smashes a diagonal ball in to the near post the defence back tracking Smith moving across Knights gets her head on the ball a glancing touch aiming to put it into her keepers gloves, coming at her quickly Pearce can’t get it under control and to her despair pops out behind her into the back of the net 1-0.

  Norwich ecstatic as they take the lead a cruel goal for Wymondham to concede. The hosts come on from the restart catching Wymondham at the back as Smith steals in to take the ball of Croft outside the box moves to her right shooting on the angle, Croft recovers well to get in the block, Norwich claiming handball but it clearly struck her backside. The rebound falling to Daviss 25 yards out left of the D sends a shot back in swerves wide of the post. 

Laura Nicholls getting forwards to support Hannah Waters in the Wymondham attack

 Smith is everywhere at the moment moving to the right has Larkins with her exchange passes Smith down to the by-line is clumsily brought down. Players into the box for the free-kick put in at an inviting height central, Snelling is up well to connect with the header sending it across goal, for a moment looks certain to score only for the ball to be cleared excellently by Johnston at the far post.

Natasha Snelling sends her header goalwards. Chardonnay Johnston clearing the ball off the line

  Wymondham looking to get more bodies up and around Waters now as they chase the game, Nicholls and Russell making good runs Symonds attempting to pick Russell out as she breaks into the right channel, but can’t take the ball on in behind as she is dispossessed by Collins. Up the other end Todd breaks in behind to the by-line on the right dragging the cross in to the near post Pearce well placed to gather in front of Snelling. The Norwich no10 with a great chance to double to score-line moments later as a cross is played into the box from the left, seeing it drop in front of her Snelling opens up her body to strike the ball back across goal, sees her effort race wide of the post. Francesca Catchpole comes on for Wymondham to join Waters in the attack with Knights off. Norwich bring on Brooke Osbourne for Kathryn Stanley.

Norwich win a free-kick on the right played short to Smith she flashes a cross into the area, Johnson with a strong header to launch clear defending for Wymondham. Parsons firing a shot over the top from distance as the hosts prevent Wymondham getting the ball out of their half. Stanley back on for Norwich late on replacing Todd puts the ball on for Snelling right side, Croft defending clips the attacker to give away a foul. Norwich fail to make the most of the opportunity.

Natasha Snelling on the drive for Norwich

 Time is running out for Wymondham to get themselves a levelling goal, Clarke has time and space left side 30 yards out lets out a cry of frustration as her shot flashes wide. Into the closing moments of the match Wymondham attacking Clarke picking up the ball on the right has time to line up her cross, players rushing on as she sends a diagonal ball in takes a deflection turning it across goal to the far post Nicholls coming in behind sliding onto it inside the six yard box turns it goalwards but lacks the pace to beat Quinn-Nichols getting down low to stop it. Parker picking up a knock in the attack coming off for Norwich, Jess Harper comes on. One last attack for Wymondham a hand ball spotted 25 yards out giving the visitors a free-kick, Clarke over it sends it goalwards on target, Norwich clear the threat over as the final whistle blows.

Full time Norwich City Women 1-0 Wymondham Town Ladies

  Norwich coming out on top in the finish scoring the winner in the final 15 minutes to send them through to the last four of the County Cup. Strong in the first half, improved in the 2nd launching a constant barrage at the Wymondham defence, getting players forwards from both the middle of the park and wide positions keeping there opponents penned in the final 3rd. Passing sharper moving the ball well. Again clear cut opportunities rare largely due to the Wymondham defence, battled well keeping tight, too deep maybe but left no room in behind. Waters isolated up front is a deadly as anyone in a one on one situation, Norwich defending from the front limiting the balls Wymondham could play into her. A single goal in the end enough to decide it, on the balance of play Norwich deserved the win, nevertheless was a cruel way to lose a game for Wymondham.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 Time to choose today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match. Once again not an easy choice. Wymondham worked hard as a defensive unit with Leah Newcombe making several tackles to deny Norwich on the left. Rebecca Russell getting forwards with some good positioning whenever she could to support Waters in attack. The attack from Norwich was lively showing great movement and runs, Kathryn Stanley especially first half testing the Wymondham defence. Megan Todd and Natasha Snelling combining well. Whilst at the back Kate Parsons and Izzy Collins kept close tabs on Waters all game. The award though goes to Norwich’s Ellie Smith putting herself about in the first half came into her own 2nd half making some dynamic runs from midfield and applying more pressure to the Wymondham defence.

  Norwich will be at home for the semi-final of the Norfolk Women’s County Cup there opponents will be King’s Lynn Town Ladies finalists last time out back in 2019 after they emerged 4-3 winners away to Dereham based side Tavern Ladies. The other semi-final will be an all county league affair with NWGFL side Sprowston Athletic Ladies who beat division two opponents 4-0 at home to rivals Mulbarton Belles Ladies who produced a shock in the quarter finals beating ERWFL Premier Division side Wroxham Ladies 1-0 away from home. Both games due to be played next Sunday 9th May.

 Better weather this time at The Nest. Is a great facility, an intriguing game to watch unfold, cagey took a late goal in the end. My thanks to everyone at the The Nest for their help today.

by Darren Gilham

Match Report – Cambridge United WFC v Norwich City Women

Sunday 20th September

FAWNL South East Division One

 The new season of FAWNL football starts this Sunday and once again Women’s Football East will be keeping a close eye on both the Southern Premier Division and South East Division One. The 24 sides unchanged from last season due to the COVID outbreak raring to get going once again the leagues promising to be more competitive than ever with some very strong new signing made. Begin the action with a trip to St Neots Town FC to watch Cambridge United WFC v Norwich City Women in South East Division One.

 The 20/21 season starting a month later than usual due to the virus that brought the previous season to an early end. A new season played with strict COVID regulations on place to maximise the safety of both players an supporters. South East Division One has seen several strong signings as the whole of the women’s football pyramid strengthens at both ends. The FAWSL just beginning it’s journey as a professional league at the top. Growth is happening too at the base in the county leagues with 3 new divisions created in the East alone this campaign. That in turn will only serve to strengthen the sides already there including the FAWNL sides competing in tiers 3 and 4.

  Another competitive season promised, two sides looking to improve this season in South East Division On are Cambridge United WFC and Norwich City Women. Cambridge United WFC moving to a new home at the start of the 2019/20 season moving from Mildenhall Town FC to St Neots Town FC. A move which brought both their 1st and Development sides together training at one facility. Lost a few players during the close season and made a slow start to the season. A change of manager saw Ben Yeomans step up to first team manager results beginning to improve before the season was brought to an abrupt end. Have brought in a few new signings over the close season. Attacker Samaira Khan impressing in the ERWFL with both AFC Dunstable and last season Colney Heath Ladies is dangerous in front of goal testing herself now in the FAWNL. Defender Grace Waygood joins having previously Spurs, so to winger Laura Mitchell who has represented Wales at youth level  and young attacker Ella Mercer.

  Norwich City Women too have found themselves at the wrong end of the FAWNL South East Division One table in recent seasons. Several managerial chances haven’t helped there progress. The Norfolk side bringing in Shaun Howe to lead the 1st team this season has a alot of talented youngsters with a mix of good experience . The league getting stronger with every season can hopefully find the winning formula to get them pushing up the table. Injuries to key players another factor hindering the side at times were dealt a blow in pre-season losing goalkeeper Hope Armstrong to an ACL injury. Have brought in Elli-Rai Quinn-Nicholls is a good replacement performing very well for Newmarket Town Women in the ERWFL last season. Defender Alice Parker returns to the club as does full back Anna Larkins, who captained Wroxham Women previously an accomplished defender has a good set-piece on her too.

 Needless to say both sides will be looking for and fancy there chances of achieving an opening day win.

  St Neots Town FC’s Premier Plus Stadium is situated on a new built estate on the outskirts of the town, featuring a small stadium housing the clubhouse and changing room with a seated stand overlooking one side of the grass pitch. An excellent 3G pitch set behind it. One good thing I suppose about this long lay off from football is the pitches have enjoyed a good rest too. The grass pitch looking superb. COVID restriction in place and well observed. The weather bright and sunny blue skies, drinks breaks needed but I did get a cup of tea before kick-off.

Cambridge United WFC starting XI – Amy Butler, Abi Davis, Carrie Bennett, Kayleigh-Anne Burt (C), Grace Waygood, Tori Lawless, Gisela Otten, Faith Hewitt, Emma Jenkins, Laura Mitchell & Samaira Khan. Subs – Liz Pamplin, Albany Hodgson, Jemma Moore, Charlotte Crisp & Ella Mercer.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Elli-Rai Quinn-Nicholls, Alice Parker, Anna Larkins, Jordan Arnoup, Laura Thacker, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss, Josie Jarvis, Lauren Cullum, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Izzy Collins, Brooke Osborne, Rosie George, Abi Tate & Leilah Gooding.

  Norwich wearing their away colours, green shirt and shorts with yellow socks to get the first half underway. Lining up opposite Cambridge in their home colours amber coloured shirts with black vertical stripes down the front, black shorts and socks. Technically goalkeeper Amy Butler to is a new signing for the hosts having joined from Colney Heath last season and gotten just one game in before it all came to an end one the bench Liz Pamplin ready to make her 496th appearance for the club if called upon.

  The visitors playing the ball back to their defence, centre back Jordan Arnoup playing a long diagonal pass out to the left wing for Kathryn Stanley to attack, knocks it down the line, right back Abi Davies closing in to tackle and clear for a throw in for Cambridge. The hosts looking to get straight on the counter attack the ball up into midfield sent out to the left Emma Jenkins straying offside. A lively start to the game two sides keen to get going, Cambridge on the right Laura Mitchell pushing in through to Samaira Khan attacking the right channel, centre back Laura Thacker sliding in to push the ball away from her for Quinn-Nicholls to clear out to the wing, Mitchell after in gaining possession and lifting a high cross into the box attacking near post Khan rises we to meet it, the ball looping up to and on the roof of the net. 

Emma Jenkins looking to attack on the left for Cambridge United WFC

  Cambridge press on the right Mitchell driving on winning a corner kick. The delivery into the six yard box cleared back to the taker a second ball put in captain Kayleigh-Anne Burt up from the back getting something on it near side sending in goalwards the ball deflected away. Cambridge with intent early on the ball through the middle finding Jenkins left of the area brings it inside across the top of the area eventually getting a shot away blocked by Thacker comes back to Khan who flashes a shot over from the angle. Norwich mount an attack left side Stanley carrying the ball at her feet a determined run her pass forwards into the box looking for Natasha Snelling closing in on the near post , Grace Waygood close on her to defend the loose ball fired back in flashes wide of goal a corner awarded.

  GOAL! Norwich open the scoring from the resulting corner, the delivery played long to the congested far post the ball ending up knocked down into the six yard box in front of goal on a plate for Natasha Snelling standing a half yard out unmarked to turn over the line for Norwich’s first goal of the season 0-1 with 6 minutes on the clock.

Natasha Snelling opening the scoring for Norwich pictured with Cambridge’s Gisela Otten

  Norwich come on in attack getting numbers forwards Lauren Cullum with a cross field ball out to Snelling left of the area plays it wide to Stanley the pair attempting a one two, Stanley’s ball a little heavy Snelling doing well to retrieve on the by-line cuts it back towards the top of the area, Stanley can’t connect with the shot. The visitors regaining possession in the middle Josie Jarvis to captain Millie Daviss coming on sends a great low ball into the Cambridge area a deflection sending it wide for another corner. Another delivery put in invitingly to the far post however it clears everyone this time around. Cambridge gather far side and get straight on the counter the ball sent up the line for Khan looking to get in behind full back Alice Parker doing well tackling to take it away for a throw.

Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley

   Is a fairly even start the tempo quick play turned around quickly exciting to watch Jenkins taking the ball clear on the left into space put through to Khan wriggling clear right of the D, sets herself to strike Quinn-Nicholls quickly out to close her down making a great blocking save. Won in the middle of the park by Gisela Otten for Cambridge looking forwards sees Jenkins making a run on the left her pass threaded through picking her out takes the ball into the box closing in on the keeper aiming to send a shot across her Quinn-Nicholls diving full length getting a glove to the ball stopping it, loose for a moment Jenkins after it, the Norwich keeper grabbing it to pull safely into her body.

  Daviss covering alot of ground in the middle for Norwich brings it forwards right side into the Cambridge half, passes it to Snelling 20 yards out right side of the area, Carrie Bennett getting in on her to tackle going to ground trapping the ball with her feet before being cleared. Norwich sitting deeper are inviting Cambridge on a bit getting players forwards in attack as Khan gets hold of the ball left side fizzes a ball into the penalty spot, Mitchell attempts to bring it under control shifts it between her feet looking to pull the trigger, Thacker getting a foot in to tackle is deflected out towards the top of the area Otten 20 yards out hitting it first time the ball cannoning off the crossbar.  

 GOAL! 20 minutes played and Cambridge draw the scores level. Khan making some good runs into the channels leading the line picked out on the right by Mitchell the ball at her feet drives into the box closing in on the keeper towards the near post opens up her body well to slot the ball past her into the back of her net to score her first and Cambridge’s of the season 1-1.

Samaira Khan scoring the equaliser on her Cambridge debut

  Is a lively game can’t take your eyes off it for a 2nd, Jenkins getting hold of a misplaced pass at the back for Norwich 25 yards out sends her shot back in straight at the keeper. Khan peeling away into the right is tackled by Parker. Norwich are looking very dangerous on the counter attack the midfield getting the ball out to the wings quickly, with Stanley left and Cullum right. Stanley this time getting half a yard on her marking firing in a shot on the angle 25 yards out flies over the keeper to smash down off the crossbar. The ball still in play to the right cut back into the box Daviss racing in tackled well by Tori Lawless tracking back from midfield.

Norwich captain, Millie Daviss being challenged by Cambridge’s Tori Lawless

   Norwich strike the woodwork again moments later a loose ball 30 yards out struck with venom by midfielder Jodie Drake through everyone inside the Cambridge box Butler sees it late doesn’t move the ball thumping against her left post, One end to the other Cambridge advancing on the right a free-kick awarded a yard outside the box close to the by line players coming up from the back. Burt coming into space asking for it right side given it smashes in a shot low racing wide through the six yard box wide at the far post. Time for a drinks break is pretty warm out there and both sides are putting alot of energy into the game. 

Norwich City Women’s Jodie Drake

  Play resuming Cambridge get forwards winning  corner on the left, the ball played deep knocked up into the air by Burt, Quinn-Nicholls getting a merest of gloves on the ball as it comes down out to the right of goal a shot comes in flashed wide. Up the other end Butler with a great save down low getting good hands out to stop a shot fired in from six yards by Jarvis as Stanley plays her in. Waygood getting to the loose ball first clearing the danger for Cambridge. Fantastic combination play between Lawless and Otten in the middle for Cambridge, as Bennett makes a run left side Otten laying the ball into her she sends a looping pass long into the area for Khan to attack closing in on the keeper, Quinn-Nicholls stays big doing enough to see Khan plant her shot wide of goal.

Cambridge United WFC defender, Grace Waygood

  Snelling catches the Cambridge defence playing a high line is clear to attack the area, only a good starting position from Butler stops her the keeper able to get out and put her foot through the ball before Snelling can send a shot wide of her. Out for a throw on the right taken quickly, Stanley and Daviss link up for the visiting side the ball put in to the top of the area Otten back to win it for Cambridge this time is tripped by Stanley as she tries to bring it away. 

  Cambridge are looking dangerous on corners have a bit of height in their side now one won on the left after a driving run from Khan is put into the mix Norwich half clear, Burt has hung back inside the D the ball straight it her is fired in through bodies towards goals blocked and cleared by Larkins  on the post. Daviss is booked as she brings down Jenkins. The free-kick 35 plus yards out on the left taken by Lawless and flighted ball into the rea knocked down by Khan pushed into Otten top of the area lunging into the shot sends it over the bar. 

Cambridge United WFC captain, Kayleigh-Anne Burt

  Mitchell on the right taking the ball on well for Cambridge into the channel for Khan holding it up as Mitchell comes on in support the ball put across the area into Jenkins, Arnoup in to win it for Norwich put on into the middle the counter attack is on for a moment it’s two v two with Cambridge caught on half-way but Stanley can’t pick out Snelling as Waygood sticks a leg out to intercept. Waygood with a good ball on from the back picks out Jenkins running on left side, Larkins though gets back on her well coming across her to roll the ball safely back to her keeper to clear.

Norwich City Women’s, Anna Larkins

  Burt sliding in to tackle gets the ball back to Butler inside the D as Cullum and Stanley come together from the flanks to try and carves the hosts open through the middle. Khan with her weaker left foot does get enough power behind the shot as she tries to put it across the keeper inside the box following a good ball in from Mitchell on the right Quinn-Nicholls down to claim the ball.

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

  An exciting first half comes to an end with the scores level at 1-1 could well have been 3-2 to Norwich if the woodwork counted both sides with some excellent chances. The game played at a very high tempo both sides attacking with pace and purpose getting players forwards. Norwich inviting Cambridge on somewhat the hosts showing good movement in the final third. Norwich dangerous on the counter attack, both keepers called into action making good saves beautifully poised for the 2nd half.

Norwich’s Lauren Cullum tackling Cambridge Tori Lawless

   A change for Norwich at the start of the 2nd half Abi Tate on to replace Thacker in the heart of the Norwich defence.  Cambridge to get the 2nd half underway. Play a little disjointed early in neither side getting to pace Larkins coming to tackle Jenkins as she is played in right side, Burt winning the ball at the back as Drake attempts to slide it through to Snelling. Jenkins is really putting in a shift for Cambridge on the left running on as Bennett sends her pass up the line, Arnoup comes across to support Larkins to close her off win the goal-kick.

Norwich’s Natasha Snelling with Cambridge’s Emma Jenkins

  Davis with a vital interception in the box for Cambridge as the ball in fired in from the wing early for Snelling to attempt to run onto. Jenkins getting hold of the ball left side brings it on Khan giving her the run to the left channel the pass along the ground into her feet Khan taking it on closing in on the advancing keeper, Quinn-Nicholls stays big again Khan knocking it wide of her goes to retrieve it on the by line cutting it back into the box Jenkins arriving to strike the ball blocked well by Tate. 

Norwich centre back, Jordan Arnoup

 A scrappier start to the 2nd half alot of energy expanded in the first half neither side on top yet. Tate gives away a free-kick 30 yards out right side to Cambridge. Lawless over the ball dinks in a shot the ball caught low by Quinn-Nicholls on her line.  Tate sliding in moments later on Mitchell outside her box gives away another foul much to the visiting sides complaints that she’d won the ball. 

 GOAL! this one closer in 20 yards out right of the D, Mitchell and Jenkins over the ball as players comes forwards from the back to load the box. Jenkins with the dummy run, Mitchell striking it in across the area to the far post attacked Lawless emerging from the crowd to turn into the goal to give the hosts the lead on the hour 2-1.

Tori Lawless puts Cambridge into the lead 2nd half has enjoyed a good contest with Norwich’s Millie Daviss

  Cambridge coming on strong attacking tails up, Davis winning it in defence laying it down the line for Khan left side is brought down by Larkins bemused that she doesn’t get anything.

GOAL! Cambridge race into a 2 goal lead overlooking the attack on the right Khan fires a diagonal ball into the D, Hewitt making a great run is well placed to get a shot away hitting it sweetly to send in low swinging wide to the keeper’s right 3-1.

Faith Hewitt extends Cambridge’s lead

  Norwich respond with a double change, Rosie George and Brooke Osborne sent on in place of Cullum and Jarvis. Tate flying on with a sliding challenge once more is shown a yellow card as Cambridge are awarded a free-kick right of centre. Burt to play in in towards the top of the area, Norwich struggling to get the ball clear the hosts can’t capitalise. 

  GOAL! A moment of controversy a hot patch for Cambridge sees them score a 4th much to the visiting sides displeasure. Attacking the ball in to the top of the area Khan I think, Tate goes off her feet sliding in to win in doesn’t make contact with anything, referee Romana Bria has covered alot of women’s football and keeps up with play well close to the tackle the Norwich defence stop concerned I feel that having just been booked Tate might be in trouble, warns her to calm down. Whilst this is going on the ball is put out to the right Mitchell running on free into the area lays it across the face of goal for Jenkins to send it home far side 4-1.

  The Norwich players and bench aren’t happy as the goal stands, the referee though never blew the whistle an as players are told often you play to the whistle. Can see why Norwich stopped but play was never stopped. A hard goal to concede. Cambridge though with 3 goals in nine minutes have gotten themselves into a fantastic position. A crunching 50/50 tackle between Khan and Tate sees the Norwich defender down hurt and play stopped so she can be treated and drinks. 

 Tate is okay to continue Norwich with a chance to regroup. Stanley on the ball 30 yards out right side clips it into George top of the area she connects with the ball flashing her shot wide of the near post. The visitors get forwards winning a free-kick 30 yards out, Daviss an Snelling over the ball, it’s Snelling who takes on the shot up over the wall on target but caught high by Butler drifting across her line. Cambridge make a change Jenkins has ran herself into the ground makes way for Ella Mercer to make her Cambridge debut up front as Khan moves to the left. 

Norwich’s Abi Tate winning the ball from Cambridge’s Ella Mercer

  Lawless feeds a pass through to Khan on the left side she cuts it across the top of the area into the advancing Hewitt to clip her first time strike over the bar. Space beginning to open up as both sides begin to tire, Norwich see an attack break down Mercer making a run into space on the right for Cambridge Hewitt picks her out with the pass takes the ball onto into the box closing in on the keeper sends her shot high beating Quinn-Nicholls but has the angle covered well the rising ball coming back off the post. A second change for Cambridge Charlotte Crisp comes in on place of Lawless. 

  Their lead giving Cambridge renewed energy the hosts push on in attack Otten sending a 20 yard ball into Mitchell closing in n the box she shots her effort rising over the bar. Cambridge winning a free-kick on the right Crisp to play a diagonal ball invitingly into the box Tate rising well to head behind for a corner. The corner on the left in at the near post defended by George out behind for a 2nd corner. This one taken short put up the line before being delivered is deflected behind a goal kick awarded. The game heading into the final minute of normal time. Khan dragging a shot wide as she attacks on the right. 

  Norwich get up the other end George right cutting a ball in towards the top of the area Snelling there right of the D, both Burt and Waygood in to prevent her getting a shot away the ball cleared to the right Norwich keep up the attack another cross comes in Snelling with the shot a combination of keeper post preventing a goal. Cambridge continue to press the attack looking for another goal the ball threaded through into the box Mitchell right squaring it central for Khan her shot blocked at point blank range comes back to Mitchell who flashes a shot wide across the six yard box a corner awarded. The delivery into the six yard box headed over by Khan as the final whistle blows.

Full time Cambridge United WFC 4-1 Norwich City Women

  An opening day win for Cambridge United WFC beating Norwich City Women 4-1. A victory that will give them a great deal of confidence at the start of the season. A strong start to the 2nd half getting getting into the lead and quickly adding 2 more goals to get themselves into a strong position, were fluid in attack creating several chances, there midfield winning the ball more often in the 2nd period. Was a pretty even first half however, both sides attacking with purpose made for an exciting contest Norwich taking the lead, Cambridge coming back well to equalise. 3 goals in 9 minutes in the 2nd half changing the game. The 4th goal controversial no doubt. Cambridge deserved winners in the end. Norwich I suspect will be hit hard by that 4th goal but for an hour I thought the game could go either way looked very dangerous on the counter attack in particular.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, clearly the intent this season is not for it to be an easy decision. Several contenders once again. A few performances to mention, firstly Millie Daviss for Norwich, the amount of ground she covered was superb to try and break up Cambridge attacks. For Cambridge Tori Lawless worked the ball well making some great tackles and runs. Emma Jenkins made herself constantly available on the left side, with Laura Mitchell impressing on her Cambridge debut on the right. The award though goes to another Cambridge debutant Samaira Khan scored her first goal for the club and as the spearhead of the attack made some fantastic runs into the channels to receive a pass.

   A fantastic opening game from FAWNL South East Division One fast paced, between two determined sides, bodes well for the season ahead. As always my thanks and appreciation to both sides for the team info.

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Ipswich Town Women

Wednesday 19th February

FAWNL South East Division One

Straight back up the A47 this Wednesday evening to watch Norwich City Women for the 2nd time in 3 days as they host the East Anglian derby agianst Ipswich Town Women.

  Norwich coming into the match fresh from securing their place in this season’s Norfolk Women’s County Cup final beating Wroxham Women with two devastating spells in each half to win 8-1. Back at Plantation Park this evening returning to league action up to 8th in the FAWNL South East Division One table pulling away from the scrap at the bottom of the table looking to end the season on a positive note push on to secure a mid-table finish. Tough going in the league in recent seasons towards the wrong end of the table have a good crop of talented youngsters to complement the senior players within the squad. Chelsea Garrett top scoring in fine form in front of goal this season with 20 goals. Jordan Arnoup resigned by the club last week makes her first start tonight good to see her back playing after a break from the game.

 Ipswich Town Women in action too at the weekend playing the biggest game in the clubs history away to FAWSL leaders Manchester City Women in the Women’s FA Cup reaching the last 16 of the competition the Suffolk side’s magical run brought to an end with a bump by the current FA Cup holders a clinical display seeing Manchester City win 10-0. That result in no way reflecting Ipswich’s season so far rising high at the top of FAWNL South East Division One with just one loss so far this season. The Women’s FA Cup dominating 2020 to date the league title the ultimate goal and with it promotion to the 3rd tier of the women’s football pyramid.

  A strong youth section playing in the FAWSL academy bearing fruit Ipswich’s senior side benefiting with a host of young players stepping up and performing well week in week out. Natasha Thomas leading goalscorer with 23 goals so far this season with captain Amanda Crump with over 200 appearances for the club now on 17 for the season. Haven gotten the better of Norwich twice this season already the East Anglian derby the perfect game for them to get over the weekends loss. A rapidly growing fan base with plenty making the trip this evening.

  Plantation Park the venue for this evenings game under the lights. The ground filing up nicely the main stand along one side of the pitch full. The weather terrible once again rain falling for several hours before kick-off the large pitch showing standing water would make for difficult playing conditions once again heavy going muddy the pitch having seen alot of action. The biggest crowd of the season without a doubt the carpark full a good atmosphere umbrella’s needed for those out of the cover of the stand.

 Norwich City Women starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Brooke Osbourne, Lauren Cullum, Jordan Arnoup, Laura Thacker, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss (C), Rosie George, Aimee Durrant, Natasha Snelling & Chelsea Garrett. Subs – Tigi Robson, Sian Douglas, Reeanna Cook, Josie Jarvis & Abbigail Tate.

 Ipswich Town Women starting XI – Lucy Williamson, Eva Hubbard, Ellie Rossiter, Lucy Egan, Paige Peake, Blue Wilson, Amanda Crump (C), Anna Grey, Zoe Cossey, Natasha Thomas & Eloise King. Subs – Nicole Pannifer, Maddie Biggs, Paige Wakefield & Sophie Peskett.

   Norwich wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts to get the game underway kicking-off first half. Ipswich lined up opposite wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. A late change to the starting XI for the visitors with defender Lindsey Cooper pulling up in the warm-up, Lucy Egan starting instead in the heart of the defence. Alot of surface water feet squelching in the mud as players make runs the early exchanges cagey ball forwards on the flanks a sliding tackle mis-timed seeing Ipswich awarded a free-kick out wide in the Norwich half on the left, Paige Peake to play the ball in a dangerous delivery almost catching out Norwich goalkeeper Hope Armstrong. 

  Norwich captain Millie Daviss coming across to slide into the tackle to stop Ipswich’s Zoe Cossey breaking away down the right. Ipswich lively from the off turning play round quickly looking to exploit the width. The hosts pushing up on the left Rosie George pressing the ball high, Ellie Rossiter denying the cross from Ipswich, full back Lauren Cullum up preventing Ipswich from counter attacking puts the ball on for Chelsea Garrett up top 20 yards out turns looking to feed the diagonal pass to Aimee Durrant making a run on the right, Lucy Egan heading clear for Ipswich. Players from both sides moving in quickly to close the ball down playing conditions awful with the rain still falling.

  Anna Grey with a pacey run away on the left side sends the ball into the box, Norwich clear. Up the other end Durrant showing a good turn of pace to as Jodie Drake wins the ball in the middle the ball put on finding Durrant racing on down the wing taking on the full back the angle against her as she delivers the cross into the side netting. Cossey keeping hold of the ball on the right skipping in field lays it into the middle for Blue Wilson who in turn switches play out to the left wing for Grey bursting on cuts inside before blasting a shoot outside the box over the bar. 

  Cullum races on with the ball left linking with George for Norwich the full back continues her run beyond George as she sends the ball on, runs into Rossiter top of the area the Ipswich full back winning the ball back. Laura Thacker stepping out of defence to challenge Natasha Thomas as the Ipswich attacker brings the ball forwards. A rash sliding challenge in the middle sees Wilson upended in the middle and the offender shown a yellow card. Peake on the set-piece her delivery into the box cleared for a throw. Ipswich getting a corner kick the ball cleared inside the area latched onto by Eloise King at the top of the area smashes the loose ball over.

  Thomas gathering the ball into her feet 25 yards out drives towards the Norwich area Thacker in to tackle the ball send wide out for the throw. Cossey dances away on the right wing turning in field sends a low ball towards the top of the area cut out by Thacker. The Norwich defence on the back foot as Ipswich build momentum winning the ball back inside their opponents half and looking sharp with good movement off the ball. Thomas drives forwards with the ball Brooke Osbourne across her to play the ball back for Armstrong to clear. Egan at the back for Ipswich bringing the ball on to halfway her pass finding grey surging on down the left a vicious cross put across the face of goal, Ipswich captain Amanda Crump furthest forwards can’t turn it in. 

 GOAL! 20 minutes gone and Ipswich’s pressure tells as they score the opening goal of the match. The ball fed through to Grey left channel breaks forwards with pace jinking inside pulling the trigger 20 yards out left of the D a powerful low strike Armstrong down can’t keep it out the ball nestling in the bottom corner 0-1.

GOAL! 2 goals in as many minutes for Ipswich as the ball is won back in the middle Wilson out to Grey on the left races away down the line firing in a cross towards the near post met by King her touch sending the rising ball inside the post to make it 0-2.

 The rain at last starting to ease can abandon the umbrella which makes note taking alot easier, just aswell a fast paced game despite the undoubtedly heavy pitch. Ipswich lively showing good energy Norwich on the back foot can’t get hold of the ball not allowed any time in possession. The visitors winning a corner on the right the ball swung into the area cleared by Arnoup. Grey continues to cause havoc on the left her heels clipped a free-kick given along with a yellow card. George looking to get forwards on the left for Norwich Rossiter in to tackle brings the ball on aiming to pitch out Thomas making a run through the middle Norwich intercept. 

GOAL! Half an hour gone and Ipswich’s dominance brings them a third goal Cossey with a mazy run with the ball on the left pushing on towards goal lays it on for King top of the D, meets it perfectly blasting a high shot into the back of the net 0-3.

 All Ipswich, Norwich not yet registering a shot on target Lucy Williamson in the Ipswich goal with very little to do. Norwich get hold of the ball inside the Ipswich half Daviss out to the right a high ball put early into the area headed down by Peake falls straight to the on rushing Garrett 20 yards out blasts over as she strikes the ball on the half volley. 

GOAL! Ipswich break forwards the ball put into the path of King left of the area a strong run forwards carrying the ball on puts the diagonal ball low across the box for Thomas out to the right strikes it back across goal from close range to put Ipswich into a 4 goal lead 0-4.

 Cossey running with the ball at her feet cutting inside shooting from the top of the area Armstrong down well diving at full stretch to push the ball wide behind for a corner. Ipswich with some dangerous deliveries from their corners in swinging towards the near post the ball headed down across goal cleared by Norwich at the back post. 

GOAL! Ipswich cut Norwich open to extend their lead further, players breaking on as Wilson gets hold of the ball into the ball delivers it towards the near post Cossey arriving lifting the ball over the keeper to score 0-5.

  Norwich struggling to get any foothold in the game, with five minutes left in the first half Osbourne makes ground on the right combining with Durrant the ball up the line wins her side a corner players up from the back but the delivery disappointing put behind. Durrant latching onto a loose ball 30 yards out does catch it cleanly frustrated as the ball races wide of goal. Crump and Wilson on top of the game in midfield for Ipswich the ball fed out to Grey bursting on down the left flank her cross flashed along the face of the Norwich goal. 

  Natasha Snelling able to get on in support of Garrett up top in attack for Norwich late in the first half combine well through the middle finding George up on the left her diagonal ball back into the box the flag up before anyone can look to chase it down. Snelling with the pass again giving Garrett a ball to chase up the left, Williamson coming out of her box to win the race clears the ball high into the trees shielding that side of the ground. Off the throw in Cullum drops the ball into Garrett’s feet inside the box she holds off her marker to turn inside and shot the ball dragged wide of the near post.

Half-time Norwich City Women 0-5 Ipswich Town Women

 A dominant first half display from Ipswich sees them with a comfortable 5-0 lead at the break. Have looked the sharper on and off the ball, plenty of energy keeping Norwich off the ball good runs down the flanks from Grey and Cossey keeping the Norwich defence pinned back, Wilson and Crump not letting much through the middle, Garrett leading the attack for Norwich isolated the hosts not settling on the ball at all alot of work still to do if they want to get anything from the game Ipswich will be looking to add to the scoreline.

  A change at the break for Ipswich Grey coming off on the left wing, Sophie Peskett coming on. Ipswich to get the 2nd half underway the rain hopefully stopped for the rest of the evening. The last thing Norwich would want was to concede an early goal 2nd half, very nearly do as a penalty is given away by Arnoup just inside the box as Peskett presses on looking to twist inside. Peake up to take it sets the ball on the spot opts for power he rising shot smashing the underside of the crossbar bouncing down inside the six yard box and scrambled clear by Norwich. 

  Cossey breaking on in attack wide right delivers a cross under challenge from the byline held by Armstrong down low at her near post. Not long after Cossey goes down off the ball play stopped, on field treatment but can’t continue an ankle injury is helped off the pitch on races Maddie Biggs. Norwich making a change too Osbourne coming off replaced by Tigi Robson at the back. The Ipswich substitute straight in to win the ball races on into the box  left side squared into the six yard box intercepted by Thacker behind for a corner.

 GOAL! Peake with another top drawer delivery from a corner inswinging under the bar a glancing header from Egan sending the ball over the line to put Ipswich 6-0 up scoring her first senior goal for the club in the process.

Peskett and Biggs both adding renewed pace and energy to Ipswich who remain charged at the start of the 2nd half not letting their opponents settle on the ball at all. Eva Hubbard closing down Durrant as she receives the slid pass from Drake in the centre. The Ipswich substitutes combine on the left as the visitors turn play around the ball brought on Peskett rolling it on for Biggs taking the ball inside top of the area Arnoup stepping out to prevent the shot Biggs forced to play it back to her midfield. 

Robson rising to intercept as Egan fires the ball forwards aiming to pick out Peskett moving on down the left wing. Durrant offering an option on the right her cross into the box easily cleared by the Ipswich defence. Thomas coming on right side winning Ipswich a corner. The delivery spot on once again in close to the near post congested as players go for the ball an infringement spotted played halted Norwich with the free-kick.

 King comes inside from the left pushing the ball into Peskett top of the area a curling shot looped over as she strikes it first time. Snelling getting on pressuring the Ipswich defence winning a corner kick. The visitors clear and look to break quickly Biggs no at all amused as she is flagged offside. Ipswich as a whole frustrated then as they are on the wrong end of what they feel are some questionable offside decisions with 25 minutes of the 2nd half played.  

 Armstrong racing out of her box to try and clear as Ipswich get away on the right King knocking the ball on past her into the area races after it, Arnoup recovering to get back on her the ball deflected behind for a corner kick. Ipswich making a final change before the corner is taken Paige Wakefield on for Wilson in midfield. A high ball put in towards the near post Armstrong coming through bodies gets a fist on the ball. Norwich with a rare counter attack get on down the right side Durrant’s cross into the box defended at the near post. George seeing the ball into her feet 20 yards out back to goal turns and lays it across the D to Garrett leaning into the shot screws her attempt wide.

GOAL! Ipswich winning a corner on the right side Peake to take her deliveries causing problems all night. The ball looped higher this time evading Armstrong as she jumps to save at the near post falls centrally inside the six yard box smashed home at close range by Egan a 2nd senior goal following hot on the heels of her first 7-0.

Reeanna Cook comes on for Norwich with 20 minutes left to play. 

GOAL! The ball given away in midfield by Norwich Biggs racing onto it speeding on towards the top of the box, King to her right prods the ball into her path and King strikes it low past the keeper to complete her hat-trick 0-8.

The Ipswich fans ecstatic calling for 10, Ipswich showing no let up, Grey and Cossey in the first half, Biggs and Peskett causing as many problems 2nd half. Durrant getting a little joy down the right for Norwich a deep cross landing in the roof of the net the hosts though very much on the back foot.

GOAL! A 9th goal soon added as Peskett brings the ball on from inside her half on the left allowed to go on cuts inside towards the top of the box the Norwich defence standing off her she strikes a fierce ball low across the diving keeper to score 0-9.

 Rossiter has picked up a knock needs to come off for treatment, Ipswich down to 10 temporarily. Norwich with a change bringing off Arnoup for Sian Douglas who scored her first goal for Norwich at the weekend. Durrant gathering the through ball from Snelling 25 yards out pushed on towards the box crowded off the ball by 3 Ipswich defenders. Rossiter back on for the visitors the game moving into the final 10 minutes. 

 A ball over the top for Peskett to go after on the left takes it on into the area looks for options rather than pulling the trigger herself her cross cut out for a corner by Thacker. The initial delivery headed out for a 2nd corner Peake’s 2nd delivery whipping in close again headed off the line by Norwich before being cleared. Peskett skips away on the left taking the ball on flashing a cross in along the six yards box the ball cleared falls to Wakefield who strikes it from 30 yards out a powerful strike smashes against the crossbar. 

  A fantastic cross field pass from left to right setting Durrant away to attack the box the angle against her strikes it early as she is closed down the ball landing in the side netting. Thacker defends for Norwich standing up to Biggs as she carries the ball on the loose ball fired in low Armstrong seeing it late down well to save pushing the ball wide of her goal Robson back to clear. 

GOAL! Into stoppage time and Ipswich get that all important 10th goal as the keeper comes and loses the race for the ball outside the area Thomas sharper taking it past her on the right and sending the ball on the angle into the empty net beyond 0-10. The final action of the game Ipswich with a crushing win against their East Anglian rivals.

Full time Norwich City Women 0-10 Ipswich Town Women 

  A totally dominant display form Ipswich’s youngsters getting into their strike early on the pitch wet and slick not deterring them lively on and off the ball making good runs out wide Wilson and Crump controlling the middle of the park 5-0 up at half-time, adding to their tally 2nd half 10 not the target I am sure but once it became apparent it might be on was a symbolic final scoreline after losing by 10 goals themselves just 3 days before against Norwich the icing on the cake. Can be little complaints from Norwich themselves totally out played on the night after collecting a big win themselves at the weekend. Little you can do but move on and try and put thing’s right next game. Ipswich remain top of the league but are certain to be pushed for the title all the way their young side looking good however. 

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Picking this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match not an easy task, clearly and Ipswich player but as a unit were impressive a strong togetherness working well on and off the ball. Anna Grey outstanding on the left in the first half opening the scoring. Zoe Cossey lively too. Sophie Peskett coming on 2nd half a constant threat going forwards. Paige Peake’s set-piece deliveries on the money all night. Blue Wilson controlling the midfield. The award nicked though by Eloise King, superb in attack 3 well struck balls to claim a hat-trick.

 Ipswich and Norwich poles apart tonight, may thanks as always for providing me with the team details.

 

Match Report – Norwich City Women v Wroxham Women

Sunday 16th February

Norfolk Women’s County Cup

Storm Ciara blew through the country last weekend wiping out the women’s football fixtures lists and hot in it’s Storm Dennis arrived promising another weekend of disruption this time around, a case of leaving it to the last minute to see what games might hold out, Norwich City Women announcing their game was on it was a short trip to The Nest in the north of the city to watch their Norfolk Women’s County Cup semi-final clash against Wroxham Women.

 The Norfolk Women’s County Cup final played at Norwich City FC’s, Carrow Road ground for the first time last season the trophy won for a 2nd successive season by Wymondham Town Ladies, the holders were looking to make it 4 county cup final appearances on the bounce as they took on Sprowston Ladies in the other semi-final match beating the weather this weekend. Carrow Road to host the final once again this season a huge opportunity for both today’s opponents. 

  Norwich City Women dominating the County Cup in Norfolk at the start of the decade withdrew from the competition for a couple of season’s returning to compete a couple of seasons ago falling in the early stages on the previous two ocassions against King’s Lynn Town Ladies and Acle United Women last season now Wroxham Women. Norfolk’s leading league placed sides competing in FAWNL South East Division One are in a period of transition to a degree bringing in alot of youthful players with a strong experienced spine within the squad. Striker Chelsea Garrett amongst the goals this season has 18 to her name so far. Reaching a Carrow Road final would be a dream come true.

  Wroxham Women are a new name for an experienced side making the move from Acle United an established side in the ERWFL Premier Division a league below the FAWNL South East Division One. Have been warmly embraced and supported by Wroxham FC as they look to push on further within the women’s football pyramid. Have a striker too prolific in attack this season Grace Birchall leading the line netting 27 goals already this season from just 12 appearances. Have been frustrated by postponements in recent weeks today’s game thier first competitive action since the 19th January. Injuries to affecting the squad whilst new players coming in are ineligible to play in today’s game.

  The Nest in Horsford to the north of Norwich close the the airport the venue for today’s semi-final. Norwich playing here a few times are keen advocates for seeing the side fully developed building work ongoing in very early stages has the potential to add to good sporting facilities already dotted about the county. Had this game earmarked early on but the weather forecast meant I daren’t commit until late on and with the rainfall heavy over night had my doubts but the game was on still with rain falling all the way still wasn’t convinced, wind blowing too, very unpleasant as I headed out to the pitch, but passing inspection by the officials was in surprisingly good shape holding up well with no standing water. A good walk from the clubhouse hot drinks available. No cover wind strong and rain sweeping across not ideal playing conditions. Women’s football supporters have a tendency to appear out of nowhere 5 minutes before kick-off and a surprising number had braved the elements. Wroxham bringing a small but hardcore following who were in loud voice singing throughout the match.

Norwich City Women starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Brooke Osborne, Lauren Cullum, Tigi Robson, Kate Parsons, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss (C), Rosie George, Aimee Durrant, Natasha Snelling & Chelsea Garrett. Subs – Keunna Dill, Abbigail Tate & Sian Douglas.

Wroxham Women starting XI – Amy Bell, Anna Larkins (C), Kayleigh Holloway, Chloe Shields, Lauren Bailey, Victoria Pleavin, Ciera Flatt, Lauren Bullard, Naomi Cooper, Kirstie Kindred & Grace Birchall. Subs – Kate Pasque, Mary-Anne Hoy & Leanne Symonds.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Working out how best to wield an umbrella, notepad and camera without a stand to hide in the wind was blowing the rain across the pitch so having at my back worked well abandoned the umbrella altogether with the rain lightening up somewhat the wind still strong would be a factor in the game along with a slick pitch. Norwich licking off the game wearing yellow shirts and socks with green shorts. Wroxham lined up opposite wearing blue and white vertical striped shirts, with blue shorts and socks. The ball played back to the defence launched forwards, Wroxham goalkeeper, Amy Bell getting her gloves on the ball early on. 

   Bell’s kick out of goal high carried by the wind, difficult to bring under control Norwich regain possession the ball put out long on the diagonal to the left Rosie George on the flank, checks back playing it inside the ball lifted towards the box dealt with by the Wroxham defence. The early exchanges scrappy conditions difficult the wind swirling across the pitch. Wroxham make ground on the right getting forwards the cross standing up in the wind Grace Birchall inside the box can’t bring under control, the visitors pressure in the final third drawing the foul a free-kick out wide, players up from the back into the box, the ball delivered towards the near post Lauren Bailey attacking it for Wroxham can’t direct her effort on target wide behind goal. 

  Norwich play the ball out from the back a push in the back on captain Millie Daviss as she looks to head the ball on from halfway, referee Stuart Jessop playing the advantage as the ball is gathering into her stride by Natasha Snelling running on puts it through the Wroxham defence for Chelsea Garrett breaking in behind, Bell quickly out of her area winning the race for the ball launching it up field. 

Naomi Cooper playing the ball on for Wroxham Women

 Wroxham getting joy on the right captain Anna Larkins getting forwards to support the attack with Naomi Cooper a dangerous ball whipped in close to the near post cut out by Norwich’s Lauren Cullum. Wroxham quick to close down Norwich as they look to carry the ball out from the back. The wind playing it’s part ball running on for Wroxham as they attack, Norwich counter Jodie Drake sliding in to win the ball on half way forwards into Garrett’s feet, turns sees Snelling making a run the forwards past carrying too mach weight allowing Bell to come and claim. Garrett with a strike on the volley from 25 yards out racing wide of the left post.

 George on the ball good close control coming inside from the left slides the ball through central for Snelling top of the area, going a fraction too soon the flag up against her. Kayleigh Holloway back in defence for Wroxham being kept busy by Norwich’s Aimee Durrant pushing on from the right. Wroxham hustling the ball inside the Norwich half Ciera Flatt combining with Birchall and Cooper win a corner on the right. the wind getting stronger the corner delivered towards the top of the box attacked by Bailey, Durrant with her challenging bringing the ball away for the hosts can’t make any headway.

Grace Birchall getting the better of Norwich’s Kate Parson’s

  George getting on with the ball left side checking inside 25 yards out puts in a low diagonal ball looking for Snelling in the middle, Chloe Shields misses it for Wroxham allowing the attacker to steal in behind, Bell diving as she shoots stabs her attempt wide of goal. Holloway defends for Wroxham playing the ball on well pushed through for Kirstie Kindred right channel plays it on for Birchall the wind taking it on allows Norwich goalkeeper to come and claim before Birchall can latch onto it. 

  An even match both sides finding openings creating chances looking for space, Garrett this time away into the left corner with the ball flashes a cross into the box Durrant near side can’t adjust her body to get a telling touch gathered by Drake out on the right turns back to cross low fires the ball into the side netting. Birchall with an audacious attempt from just beyond the centre circle turning as she receives the ball looking to catch Armstrong unawares the ball landing wide of goal. Space fro Holloway on the left inside the Wroxham half lines up a shot her curling effort dropping safely into Armstrong’s gloves.

 GOAL! The visitors open the scoring a strong attack on the right wing Larkins away in behind bursting on drives a rising sot in on the angle Armstrong flashes up a glove to keep in out deflects the ball across her goal face dropping at the far post Birchall sliding in puts it in from close range 0-1.

Grace Birchall putting Wroxham Women into the lead

 Norwich come straight on from the restart Daviss out to Durrant on the right takes the ball on looping a high ball into the area caught cleanly by Bell. Wroxham counter coming on down the right Lauren Bullard linking with Cooper a corner kick won. A difficult one for the keeper put in under her bar Armstrong deflects it out into her six yard box comes straight to Birchall, on her quickly an instinctive header sends the ball over the crossbar. 

Grace Birchall with the instinctive header put over the bar for Wroxham

 GOAL! Norwich get straight back on level terms the ball direct put through the middle sees Garrett race away in behind the defence, Bell starts to come but realises she can’t get there, can’t get back into position in time is caught in no mans land as Garrett clinical lobs the ball over her into the back of the net 1-1.

  A good contest between Birchall in attack and Kate Parson’s in defence for Norwich the Wroxham attack always looking to get away when the ball is played forwards. Norwich pushing on gaining some momentum Brooke Osborne travelling out from the back with the ball trying her luck from distance. Drake sending a shot wide. 

GOAL! On the attack Durrant is brought down on the right outside the box the ball played into the centre of the area evades everyone comes out to the left still inside the box a vicious strike fired back in charged down deflected straight to Garrett top of the area left of the D she smashes her shot home to score her 2nd of the game and fire Norwich into the lead 2-1.

Norwich City Women’s striker Chelsea Garrett (taken in sunny times) (photo credit Brian Coombes)

GOAL! No sooner have Norwich taken the lead then they race into a 3-1 lead, cutting Wroxham open on the counter attack Durrant with space to exploit on the right drives a fierce strike low into the six yard box Birchall lurking at the far post the ball is turned into the back of their own net by the Wroxham defence.

Wroxham make the first change of the game Kate Pasque coming on at the back for Bailey. Wroxham attack on the right Kindred on for Birchall turning inside the box is adjudged to foul Cullum as she goes past her. Tigi Robson cutting out a diagonal pass from Bullard as Wroxham build through the middle. 

GOAL! A devastating spell from Norwich sees them further extend their lead the ball played forwards the game somewhat stretched to the right Durrant closing down Shields at the back as Bell comes towards the right hand corner of her area wanting the ball, defender and goalkeeper close Durrant reads it and steals in on Bell to rob the ball and walk it into the back of the net beyond 4-1.

Aimee Durrant steal in to win the ball and put Norwich 4-1 ahead (photo credit Brian Coombes)

  Wroxham well and truly on the back foot tempers flare in the middle a foul leading to pushing and shoving, Flatt and Drake both shown a yellow card. Flatt letting her frustration out with a strike from distance 35 yards out the ball looping into the box caught by Armstrong. Daviss coming on for Norwich as they press the ball on the left side fires a 20 yard shot over the bar. At the back Cullum recovers well showing good pace to catch kindred as she almost gets away from her following a great through ball from Flatt.

  A mis-hit from George top of the area, Durrant able to latch onto it her shot in held by Bell. Wroxham counter attack quickly Bullard with a good ball through for Larkins away on the right her strike from the angle hitting the top of the crossbar.

Half-time Norwich City Women 4-1 Wroxham Women

  Norwich with a devastating 15 minute spell coming back from a goal down to lead at the end of the 1st half 4-1. A even contest up to that point both sides creating opportunities coping well despite the terrible playing conditions the rain light the wind strong throughout. Norwich capitalising on some Wroxham errors with a strong advantage to carry into the 2nd half, Wroxham with alot of work to do to get back into the game will need a goal back quickly in the 2nd half.

Wroxham to get the 2nd half underway no changes for either side that I can see, the skies are brightening a little the rain easing. Wroxham straight on the attack Birchall turning on the ball looks to release Kindred ahead of her, Cullum on her shoulder muscles her off the ball. Durrant with a ball on from the right aiming to get Birchall in on the box this time Armstrong out of her box to clear the danger. Wroxham starting the 2nd half well a high ball forwards headed clear by Parsons. Lots of high ball, no one getting hold of it Drake spreading play to Durrant on the right her cross in intercepted by Pasque for Wroxham.

Kate Parsons winning the ball for Norwich City.

Wroxham win a free-kick out wide on the left Holloway on the ball played short back to Larkins lets fly from 30 yards out looks wide from where I’m standing on halfway but maybe not as Armstrong dives to her right to glove the ball behind for a corner kick. The ball from the left into a crowded near post area put wide of goal a 2nd corner awarded. This ball dealt with by the head of Parsons. 

Wroxham’s Victoria Pleavin

 Victoria Pleavin brings the ball on from the back for Wroxham allowed to drive on comes into the middle before Norwich numbers force her off the ball. The rain has stopped at last just makes the wind feel stronger. Bell with a good claim in the middle of her six yard box as Norwich flung a cross in from the right. Norwich make their first change of the match Keunna Dill coming on for Durrant, George switching to the right side. Wroxham make another change too with Mary-Anne Hoy on for Pasque. Flatt carries the ball forwards for Wroxham a strong run putting it on for Birchall giving her a run into the left channel, Robson showing great pace to get back on her and put in the challenge.

Norwich City Women’s, Keunna Dill

Space opening up as Wroxham commit in attack Norwich playing the ball though the centre for Garrett she turns playing the diagonal ball to Dill in acres of space on the left takes the ball on into the box the angle closing fires in a low strike Bell saving fantastically with her legs the ball deflected behind for a corner on the left. 

 Chances at both ends Flatt up to Birchall left 25 yards out Bullard rushing on through the centre the ball put inside she robs it off the Norwich defence stealing into the box, the final shot tame in the finish easy for Armstrong going to ground to smother the shot. George away on the right for Norwich down the line fires in a low cross at the near post Garrett there turn into the shot puts it straight at Bell. Wroxham need to get back into the game Norwich ready to capitalise going forwards. 

Wroxham Women’s Lauren Bullard

Bullard through the middle again takes the ball round the grounded keeper top of the area, Parsons back on her to put the ball behind for a corner before she can get a shot away. The corner put in near side havoc in the box Armstrong beaten as the shot comes in, Cullum keeping it out on the goal line clearing for Norwich. Larkins defending up the other end for Wroxham as Garrett looks to send the ball on through the middle. Wroxham make a third change with Leanne Symonds coming on for Bullard. 

Kayleigh Holloway looking to get after the ball for Wroxham Women

  End to end Garrett stealing in on the ball in the final third robbing the Wroxham defence into the area the angles going away from her she sends in a fierce strike Bell saving with her legs again putting the ball behind for another corner. Norwich making a change before the corner is taken Abbigail Tate coming on for Osborne, Sian Douglas on for Garrett shortly after. Bell holding onto the corner the ball forwards Birchall fouled by Robson outside the box 20 yards out to the left takes on the shot herself fires over.

Birchall determined in attack getting away from Parsons letting fly from 25 yards out central her shot swerving through the air Armstrong diving full stretch to her right the ball narrowly wide of the post. The game entering the final 10 minutes.

GOAL! Drake winning the ball as she has done all game in the middle bringing it on right side 35 yards out striking the ball sending her shot in over the keeper to seal the win 5-1.

Norwich City midfielder Jodie Drake makes it 5-1

GOAL! A blow for Wroxham late in the game and they are delivered another sucker punch straight away possession lost in the middle the ball put out to Dill clear on the left taking the ball to the byline whipping in a pacey cross into the six yard box Norwich players racing in  Snelling there to turn the ball in from close range 6-1.

Natasha Snelling further extends Norwich’s lead

Norwich with a late burst of energy tails up push forwards Daviss getting on winning a corner kick on the right.

GOAL! The corner taken short up the line on the right fired in on the angle a powerful strike clearing the keeper to smash against the far post and deflect over the line across goal. Sian Douglas with the strike to make it 7-1 scoring her first Norwich goal.

GOAL! Wroxham blown away at the end of the match as Norwich go on to score an 8th goal. Dill a constant threat on the left since being introduced to the game put clear into space to run on central releasing a shot top of the area looping over Bell her shot cannons back of the cross bar, Bell off balance tries to claim, Snelling running in on top of her nicking the ball and running it on into the empty net. 8-1.

Wroxham come on minutes left beaten keep going in attack Birchall has run herself into the ground moves out to the right to receive the ball fires in a cross along the top of the six yard box, Cooper rushing forwards at the far post can’t quite get there. Flatt advancing through the middle putting the ball onto Birchall, Robson getting across her in the box seeing the ball back to her keeper. The final whistle blows up and Norwich City Women with a comfortable final score advance to the Norfolk Women’s County Cup final.

Full time Norwich City Women 8-1 Wroxham Women

  A game played in terrible weather conditions a credit to both sides for making a competitive contest out of it. An even start to the match chances for both sides Wroxham taking the lead, Norwich coming straight back to level the scores and a devastating spell saw them race into a 4-1 lead at half-time. Wroxham had to attack 2nd half and needed an early goal if they wanted to get back into the game Norwich defending well ready to hit on the counter going 5-1 up with 10 minutes to play a 2nd spell of destruction saw them hammer home the result taking them through to a Carrow Road final a truly special occasion for the club especially their senior players who have long deserved the opportunity. A disappointing end result for Wroxham but they matched Norwich for long periods of the game and created chances.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

 On to this afternoon’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few players to mention, firstly for Wroxham, Lauren Bullard with some superb passing and runs in attack. Grace Birchall too in attack worked tirelessly to create goal scoring opportunities. For Norwich, their defence was excellent as a unit, Lauren Cullum in particular, Rosie George out wide too, today’s award though goes to central midfielder Jodie Drake a strong performance in the centre of the park breaking up play making tackles and getting forwards well to support the attack plus scoring a well taken goal.

  Norwich City Women will player the holders Wymondham Town Ladies in the Norfolk Women’s County Cup Final after they beat Sprowston Ladies 4-0 this afternoon. The Final to be played on Sunday 19th April at Carrow Road an 11am kick-off, looking forwards to it already.

  Suppose it was good to get back to it after missing last weekend through Storm Ciara, enjoyed the football but certainly didn’t enjoy the weather, the notepad was well and truly soaked, along with the writer but both dried out now. My thanks to both sides for giving me the team details always appreciated.

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.