Sunday, 27 November 2016

Match Report - Newmarket Town Ladies v St Ives Town Ladies

  Trip to Newmarket today to the Ridgeons Stadium to watch the deciding match in the group stages of this seasons, Cambridgeshire S-Tech Women's League Cup with Newmarket Town Ladies hosting St Ives Town Ladies tied at the top of the table on 6 points in Group F vying for a place in the quarter final knock-out matches in the New Year.

  A new look for the Cambridgeshire Women's League Cup this year with the early stages being held in a group format the sides across the three leagues in the County the Women's Premiership and Championship North and South drawn to face each other in 8 Groups A-H with 3 or 4 sides in each playing each other once a Premiership side in each against Championship opposition. With 9 sides competing in the Premiership one Group has 2 sides in it and that is Group F featuring both Newmarket Town Ladies and St Ives Town Ladies along side Championship South sides Isleham United Ladies and Fulbourn Bluebirds.

  A good start to the season for both sides in the Premiership. Newmarket Town Ladies currently 2nd in the table won their 1st 4 league games before suffering their 1st defeat against Cambridge United WFC Reserves who took over at the top 2 weeks ago. Drawn into Group F were on the road for their 1st 2 games against Championship South sides, Fulbourn Bluebirds and Isleham United Ladies winning their 1st game 9-0 the 2nd 3-0 hold the advantage over St Ives Town Ladies on goal difference.

  St Ives Town Ladies are into their 2nd season as a club having formed for the 2015/16 season, recognise a few of their squad from the Sawtry Ladies side I covered on the blog in it's very early days. also a few players in the squad who used to play for Huntingdon Town Ladies too. With St Ives Town already having youth sides in girls football the platform was in place to form a women's team. Did well in their 1st season winning promotion up to the Premiership and of the 3 sides promoted from the Championship's North and South this season are doing well in 3rd place in the table. Have also played Isleham United Ladies and Fulbourn Bluebirds in their 1st 2 group F matches winning 4-0 and 4-1 at home to have 6 points, today a must win game if they wish to advance to the knock-out stages of the Cambridgeshire League Cup the 2 sides have met in the league already this season Newmarket Town Ladies winning 2-0 away from home. 
Group F
Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Newmarket Town Ladies 2 2 0 0 12 0 12 6
2 St Ives Town Ladies 2 2 0 0 8 1 7 6
3 Isleham United Ladies 2 0 0 2 0 7 -7 0
4 Fulbourn Bluebirds 2 0 0 2 1 13 -12 0

 The venue for today's match, Newmarket Town FC's Ridgeons Stadium. A brand new state of the art cork based 3G pitch. A very good playing surface and one of the best artificial surfaces I've seen. A covered stand with seating on one side of the pitch, along side the clubhouse and bar with hot food and drink available, Barry's Snack Shack served up one of the best cheeseburgers I have had in a while. A bright sunny end to November, a few dark clouds around and these would grow to make it chilly and gloomy over the course of the game.

 Newmarket Town Ladies starting XI - Eloise Hope, Jasmine Woodfield, Olivia Orme, Jess Linger, Beth Woodfield (C), Abbie Marshall, Cindy Ponder, Abbi Griffin, Joeli Kirby, Nadine Basson & Lauren Deller.
 subs - Lauren Blackaby & Molly Agnew

 St Ives Town Ladies starting XI - Kira Markwell, Steph Ransome, Penny Ford, Molly Berryman, Molly Flack, Megan Stow, Sophie Marheineke, Georgia Stancombe, Amy Seymour-Shove, Hannah Seymour-Shove & Sasha Smith (C).
 subs - Connie Liddiard, Chloe Stefanelli, Jade Carpenter, Leigh Chatten & Jorgie Hall.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Newmarket to kick off the 1st half wearing yellow shirts with blue trim on the shoulders and sides blue shirts with yellow trim on the sides and yellow socks with two blue and white bands with St Ives Town lined up opposite wearing black and white vertical striped shirts, black shorts and socks. The home side look to attack from the off the ball played up through the middle looking for Joeli Kirby making a run on the left, Molly Flack stepping forwards to get her head on the ball clear for St Ives. Newmarket trying again on the right, Abbi Griffin on the ball getting down the line and putting a cross into the box, St Ives goalkeeper, Kira Markwell claiming confidentially at her near post. 

  Markwell is out to the edge of her area, clearing the ball as Cindy Ponder plays Kirby in up the left, puts the ball into the middle along the ground trying to pick out Lauren Deller running through the middle the St Ives goalkeeper getting to the ball 1st. A fast start to the match both sides looking to get the ball out to their wide players attack down the wings. A free-kick for Newmarket inside the St Ives half on the right side Jess Linger on the ball plays it long up into the box, the header clear putting the ball out for a throw on the right is by St Ives Molly Berryman.

The Newmarket Town Ladies defence, Olivia Orme in the front of the picture, Jess Linger and captain Beth Woodfield
beyond keep their eye on the in coming ball, pictured with St Ives Hannah Seymour-Shove

  From the throw the ball is cleared out to the left comes to Newmarket, left back Olivia Orme looks to send it back in quickly towards the top of the area with striker Nadine Basson making a move from right to left across the D, colliding with the St Ives defender challenging her manages to get the ball on into the box races away behind for a goal kick before Kirby can chase it down. Ponder has a strike on goal from all of 30 yards out, the shot straight at Markwell who takes it cleanly. Coming forwards on the left side Griffin sends the ball high into the box, Deller arriving sees the ball over her shoulder hitting it on the volley trying to pick out the top corner curls wide of the mark.

  St Ives are working hard to close the ball down, Megan Stow winning possession in the middle gets it forwards, helped on St Ives captain, Sasha Smith leading the attack is fed in down the right on the run hits a shot from the edge of the box in low towards the near post, Eloise Hope in the Newmarket goal makes a comfortable save. Georgia Stancombe brings the ball down the right, loops a cross up into the Newmarket area Beth Woodfield Newmarket's captain heads the ball away from danger. 

St Ives Town Ladies, Megan Stow is beaten to the ball by Newmarket's Abbi Griffin
  Orme getting forwards with the ball on the left for Newmarket plays the pass in field getting Basson onto the ball running through the centre, rolls it forwards into the box with Ponder getting up field to her right, Markwell off her line quickly gets to the ball and slides in to claim. Griffin up the right wing for Newmarket crosses early the ball along to top of the St Ives area for Deller who attempts to bring it down and turn to shoot, Flack is on her shoulder the defender doing well to prevent the shot the ball going out for a goal kick.

  A little to casual at the back from Hope as the goalkeeper with the ball at her feet loos to pass it out of her area inside to Woodfield, St Ives, Hannah Seymour-Shove bursting forwards latching onto the ball drives into the box, Hope recovers quickly and getting across throws herself into a full long dive to make the blocking save as Seymour-Shove shoots. Hope makes a good catch inside her six yard box moments later not put off as Hannah Seymour-Shove throws herself forwards trying to get onto the end of a Stancombe cross put in from the right.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Nadine Basson

  Basson plays the ball on for Kirby on the left, a little long, Kirby does well to keep it in before she can get her head up and cross, Steph Ransome gets back at her and tackling wins the ball for St Ives, Newmarket prevent the break keeping the ball on the left rolled into Basson left corner outside the box curls a ball over the defence dropping into the six yard box, Markwell down low makes the save pushing the ball out to the right, Penny Ford getting it away as Griffin closes her down.

  Ponder wins the ball in the middle of the park gets the pass into Kirby on the left in behind squares a cross along the floor into the six yard box, Markwell down to see it into her gloves before Basson or Deller can arrive. Griffin tries her luck from 25 yards out a curling effort lacks the height to trouble Markwell. Newmarket make a double switch, Kirby and Ponder come off, Lauren Blackaby and Molly Agnew come on. 

  GOAL! Newmarket have been pressing forwards looking for the opening goal of the match, however it is the visitors who get themselves in front 25 minutes into the 1st half, Sophie Marheineke along side Stow in the middle of the park has been getting the tackles in to win the ball break up play, gets forwards carrying the ball on towards the Newmarket box has Stancombe ahead of her looking to get in behind the defence threads the pass into her run taking it on into the box, Hope comes rushing out goes to ground Stancombe takes the ball past her and sends it into the empty net beyond 0-1.

Georgia Stancombe pictured getting back to help in defence
gives St Ives Town Ladies the lead

St Ives Town Ladies
Sophie Marheineke
Newmarket get straight back on the attack from the restart Abbie Marshall playing the ball into Griffin who looks to play the ball into Agnew on the left top of the area looks to cut inside, Ransome defends well to deny her a goal scoring opportunity. Orme up field passes the ball into Deller central back to goal outside the box, looks to lay it to Agnew on the left coming into the box again Ransome puts in the challenge. A great ball over the top with Basson getting in behind the St Ives defence hits the falling ball on the half volley outside the box the shot straight at Markwell the keeper dropping forwards onto the bouncing ball.

 GOAL! 4 minutes after going in front, St Ives double their lead. The visitors launching a counter attack with Marheineke getting forwards again the ball is played up field, a back heel to help it on Marheineke plays it on trying to pick out Smith as the Newmarket defence try to clear, Smith gets in to challenge win the ball top of the area shifts the ball to her right and curls her shot around the keeper into the goal beyond to score 0-2.

St Ives Town Ladies
captain Sasha Smith

  St Ives enthused by 2 quick goals press forwards Smith out to the left strong on the ball drives into the box, Beth Woodfield stands her ground and wins the tackle before a shot can be released. Another double switch for Newmarket with Ponder and Kirby back on for Basson and Deller. Agnew bursting down the left wing sends in a low cross for Newmarket into the six yard box Markwell calls and gathers as Berryman misses her attempted clearance in front of her.

  Marshall with the ball at her feet for Newmarket on the right plays the diagonal ball into the box with Kirby breaking forwards into the area, hits the shot puts the ball wide behind the goal. Ponder gets in behind the St Ives defence on the left squares the ball along the six yard box too many bodies to get through before the cross can reach Kirby at the far post the ball is cleared out of the box Griffin 1st to it 25 yards out goes to shoot sends her strike over the bar. 

Half-time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-2 St Ives Town Ladies

  A 2-0 lead for St Ives at the break as the 2 sides head to the dressing room. A busy 1st half, the advantage with St Ives now hold onto the lead and they will progress to the knock-out stages of the league cup at Newmarket's expense. Have put in alot of work 1st half defending well at the back, Markwell confident behind her defence. Their goals coming as Newmarket were pressing for the lead themselves, had created more chances in front of goal, it's the ones that cross the line however that count and St Ives took both their goals well to do that.

  Has got decidedly chilly as the sides come out for the 2nd half the sky full of dark clouds the light starting to fade. St Ives to kick-off the 2nd half Deller is back on for Newmarket. The home side press early a strong run on the ball from Griffin on the right wing whips the ball into the box trying to pick out Deller trying to bring it down is closely marked by Flack the ball is pushed out of the area with Linger getting forwards strikes the shot looping into the air is touched by Markwell. A corner on the right put in towards the top of the area, players making runs the ball isn't picked up runs through to Blackaby who hits a shot up and over the crossbar. 

Abbie Marshall on the ball for Newmarket Town Ladies 

  Ford tackles to win the ball for St Ives at the back up field into Stow on for Smith a quick break the ball in passed into Stancombe racing in behind from the right shoots early the ball flying wide at the near post. Newmarket bring Ponder back on replacing Linger who has taken a knock. Pressure from Deller forces an error form the St Ives defence outside the box gets the ball and rolls it into Kirby inside the box closed down gets it squared centrally to Marshall who shoots puts the ball straight at Markwell the keeper getting her gloves wrapped around the ball. Basson returns to the action for Newmarket with Agnew coming off.
Kira Markwell in goal for St Ives Town Ladies
   A delay in play as Stancombe comes off the worst as she and Ponder come together inside the box as the ball is punched away by Markwell in front of the pair as Griffin lifts a cross into the box. A free kick to Newmarket outside the box to the right as Deller's run is impeded. Ponder on the set-piece sends the ball up towards the far post, Markwell with the call backpedalling plucks the ball out of the air. St Ives make their 1st chance of the match Marheineke the player coming off Connie Liddiard comes on. Another foul in the middle of the St Ives half gives Ponder another opportunity to put the ball into the box, central lifted up into the air Markwell isn't challenged as she catches the ball.

   Amy Seymour-Shove with a run on the left takes the ball in behind the Newmarket defence cuts back inside plays the ball into Smith top of the area, a good 1st touch to take the ball away from her marker then spinning to meet the ball as it drops to the floor plays her shot straight at Hope well placed in her goal. One Seymour-Shove to the other as Hannah getting hold of the ball in the middle lays it forwards to Amy on the left getting forwards wins her side a corner, the ball is attacked at the near post, everyone misses it but despite the melee in front of her Hope claims well. 

Georgia Stancombe with Newmarket Town Ladies, Molly Agnew
  A free-kick for St Ives in the middle, Liddiard on the ball sends it long into the box, runners breaking into the area, bounces on into Hope's gloves before it can be attacked. A 2nd change for St Ives, Leigh Chatten comes on replacing Ford at left back with a little under 20 minutes left of normal time. Griffin gets a corner for Newmarket on the right the ball put in near post is cleared behind by Berryman for a 2nd corner going longer this time flies across the six yard box Blackaby leaping can't get her head on the ball. 

  Newmarket's Marshall moving forwards with the ball lays the pass inside to Ponder 35 yards from goal shoots as the ball runs across her body the ball bounces a yard wide of the St Ives goal. The floodlights are switched on the clouds making it very dark above, Griffin is tackled by Chatten as she tries to go past her down the right the ball runs out for a corner, a change for St Ives before it is taken Chloe Stefanelli on for Ransome. Flack defends the corner heading away at the near post. Another change for St Ives, Smith coming off, Jade Carpenter entering the pitch.

Newmarket Town Ladies, Lauren Blackaby with St Ives Town Ladies, Amy Seymour-Shove

  Newmarket push on searching for a goal to get themselves back into the match with less than 5 minutes left the ball is played into Deller back to goal inside the D, shifts it well between her feet to find a yard of space on the turn can only pick out Markwell in the right space to claim hold of the ball in goal. Newmarket bring the ball on down the right the diagonal ball into the box is sent in low Basson breaking into the area throws herself at the ball trying to get onto the end of it as Markwell coming forwards closes the space down the ball hitting her as she and Basson come together. Basson stays down is in alot of discomfort another lengthy spell for treatment, having suffered from a nasty knee injury in the past it is a concern as she is carried off the pitch can't continue, Agnew is readied and sent on. St Ives make another change too Jorgie Hall coming onto the pitch replacing Hannah Seymour-Shove as the game moves into injury time. 

  GOAL! Late in the game St Ives score a 3rd goal to ensure the victory and it comes from an error at the back from Newmarket have a throw at the back the ball is thrown to Hope top of her area on the left, at her feet doesn't get rid of it as Carpenter moves to challenge for the ball nips in to get her toe on the ball, moves down the line the angle inside the area acute she opens up her body opting for placement as Hope backpedals trying to get back in her goal, sends the ball curling up towards the top corner and in to make it 0-3. A good finish.

  Hope knows it was her error holds up her hand in acknowledgement, harsh but you have to move on goalkeepers make fair more saves than errors anyone will tell you. The game moves into injury time. Newmarket keep pushing forwards the ball is with Griffin on the right running onto the ball strikes it early 30 yards out her shot/cross flashing across the face of the St Ives goal. Marshall win seconds left plays the ball on for Griffin moving in from the wing hits the ball with the outside of her boot the ball flying across the six yard box and wide at the far post as the final whistle blows. 

Full time Newmarket Town Ladies 0-3 St Ives Town Ladies

  A 3-0 win for St Ives Town Ladies sees them top Group F and advance to the quarter finals of the Cambridgeshire Women's League Cup will be joined by Cambridge United WFC Reserves, Bar Hill Ladies and Wisbech St Marys Ladies with the other 4 groups to be decided next Sunday. Recent history shows the league cup is a wide open competition and on today's performance St Ives Town Ladies should fancy their chances. Put alot into the game defended well, Newmarket starting well creating opportunities but not breaking the St Ives defence down the visitors growing in confidence and 2 well taken goals seeing them hold the advantage a half-time. A good all round team performance keeping Newmarket at bay 2nd half nicking a goal late on to make sure of the win.

  Disappointment for Newmarket going out of the league cup and a blow to see Nadine Basson leaving the pitch on a stretcher will be missed hoping it's not too serious an injury and wish her all the best and for a speedy recovery. My thanks to both Newmarket's Luke Worley and St Ives, Darren Majoram for their help with the teams today.


Friday, 25 November 2016

Match Report - Hertfordshire FA Women v Suffolk FA Women

 This season's East Anglian Counties Championship continues this Thursday evening a trip to Letchworth to watch another Women's County Representative match with Hertfordshire FA Women hosting the current holders of the Fred Welham Cup, Suffolk FA Women.

  This is Hertfordshire FA Women's 1st game of the tournament, 4 county sides contesting the East Anglian Counties Championship, Essex and Kent also involved each county side playing the other once the overall winner topping the table winning the Fred Welham Cup. Suffolk FA Women are the current holders. Won their opening match at home against Essex 4-3 to get 3 points on the board. Essex hosted Kent last time out the match ending in a 1-1 draw the points shared. 

  Hertfordshire FA Women's squad has several new faces in it for tonight's fixture. A mixture of clubs represented with Stevenage Ladies having 6 players in the squad. 2 from Enfield Town Ladies, with ERWFL clubs, Offley & Stopsley Ladies, Hertford Town Ladies and Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies all having players in the squad. A win for Hertfordshire tonight would not only get them off to a good start but throw the group wide open with 3 fixtures to come in the New Year.

  Suffolk FA Women's squad is largely made up with Ipswich Town Ladies players 9 in all tonight representing Suffolk from the FAWPL South East Division One side. 3 players from Lowestoft Town Ladies with captain Paige Shorten playing for Norwich City Ladies both clubs also in the South East Division One. Twins Sophie & Beth Welton set to make their debuts for their county as is Lowestoft Town Ladies, Abbie Everson. Eva Hubbard from Ipswich Town Ladies also makes her debut for Suffolk aged just 16. AFC Sudbury Ladies player Mia Etheridge also makes her debut.

 The County Ground in Letchworth the venue for tonight match under the lights a large pitch plenty of covered seating, new dugouts with the old ones situated in front of the stand now gone. The bar open and more importantly a hot drink available on a chilly but dry November night. 

 Hertfordshire FA Women starting XI - Michelle Bridgeman (Hertford Town Ladies), Hayley Wood-Thompson (Stevenage Ladies), Molly Johnson (Kings Langley), Louise Gash (Stevenage Ladies), Heidi Sinclaire (Enfield Town Ladies), Kelly Randall (C) (Offley & Stopsley Ladies), Amy Josland, Becky Day (both Stevenage Ladies), Lorna Gower (Hemel Hempstead Town Ladies), Sarah Payne & Jenny Hepton (both Stevenage Ladies).
 subs - Millie Guest (Kings Langley), Gemma Coggins (Offley & Stopsley Ladies), Bilge Taspinar (Hertford Town Ladies), Sian Owens (Enfield Town Ladies), Tash Crick (Hoddesdon Town Owls Ladies).

 Suffolk FA Women starting XI - Eilish Brogan (Lowestoft Town Ladies), Sophie Welton, Eva Hubbard, Sian Fagg, Aimee Harrison (all Ipswich Town Ladies), Paige Shorten (C)(Norwich City Ladies), Amy Howlett, Hollie Clement (both Ipswich Town Ladies), Gemma Moore (Lowestoft Town Ladies), Mia Etheridge (AFC Sudbury Ladies) & Natasha Thomas (Ipswich Town Ladies).
 subs - Charlie Osborne (Walsham Le Willows), Beth Welton (Ipswich Town Ladies) Abbie Everson (Lowestoft Town Ladies).

 (roll on roll off substitutes)

  It's Hertfordshire wearing an all royal blue coloured kit to kick the 1st half off with Suffolk lined up opposite all in red sponsored by Home Store UK. The ball is won by Suffolk and played long into attacker Natasha Thomas who scored a hat-trick against Essex in Suffolk's 1st match of this season's East Anglian County Championships. Thomas looks to drive centrally with the ball into the Hertfordshire area, defender Heidi Sinclaire holds her up the ball is back with Suffolk's Hollie Clement moving left plays the ball into the box that side with Amy Howlett breaking in behind gets a shot away Hertfordshire goalkeeper, Michelle Bridgeman saving with her legs then catches the return ball lifted back into the area from the left.

  Breaking up a Hertfordshire attack, Suffolk counter attack with pace the ball up to Thomas drives forwards through the middle evading a challenge is moving away from goal to the right outside the box cleverly reverses her shot sending the ball in towards goal, Bridgeman diving to her right gets a glove to the ball pushing it wide off goal for the corner kick. Molly Johnson plays the ball out of the back for Hertfordshire on for Becky Day on the left side plays the ball inside for Kelly Randall the Hertfordshire captain, looks to try and thread it between the Suffolk centre backs for striker Jenny Hepton to chase, Aimee Harrison tackling gets to the ball 1st.

  Mia Etheridge getting the ball into her feet on the left attacks taking it down the line whips a cross into the area, stretching Hertfordshire's Louise Gash deflects the cross, goalkeeper Bridgeman dropping on the ball near post. Day with the ball out left tries to put striker Sarah Payne in behind only recently returned to full fitness after a long spell out recovering from an ankle injury, looking to get into the box after it, Suffolk's Sian Fagg gets across her plays the ball back to goalkeeper Eilish Brogan to clear. Coming on with the ball on the right this time Hertfordshire's Lorna Gower wins her side a corner the delivery is high towards the near post area, Payne goes up for it headers the ball down towards goal, on target, Brogan is right behind it holds onto the ball. 

  GOAL! 13 minutes played and Suffolk take the lead playing the ball through the middle Howlett rolls the ball on into Thomas inside the D, moving right with the ball Sinclaire pushes her further wide as she looks to get around her with Bridgeman coming off her line her attempt is blocked deflected wide Thomas goes after it and sends the ball into the back of the net 0-1.

  Hertfordshire attack straight from the restart the ball put out to Gower on the right side carries it forwards the shot coming in near post is held easily by Brogan in goal. Etheridge has the ball on the left for Suffolk taking it to the by line cuts back inside evading her marker her cross in is sliced into the air off a Hertfordshire defender, falls for Howlett arriving in the six yard box gets her head on the ball places her attempt wide of goal. Hertfordshire make a change Johnson comes off at left back to be replaced by Gemma Coggins. Hepton is released in behind the Suffolk defence by Amy Josland looking to get onto the ball as it arrives in the box right side, Brogan comes rushing out and sliding in saves at the strikers feet.

  Etheridge taking the ball into the box from the left twists and turns looking for an opening eventually sending a low shot wide of the near post. An open game Hertfordshire getting into their stride after a slow start. Gower down the right for Hertfordshire players forwards into the box she squares the ball along the top of the area left side Day controls looks to set up Payne central, the ball rolled into her Fagg puts in the challenge as she goes to shoot the ball is sent wide of goal a goal kick signalled.

  Etheridge latches onto a Hertfordshire clearance 2 yards out lifts the ball high into the air, Thomas moving into the box sees it down over her shoulder bouncing she hits the shot on the half volley 8 yards out wide across the six yard box, with Bridgeman scampering across her goal, Etheridge following up far post can't get to the ball before it runs out of play. Howlett beats the offside trap to get in behind the Hertfordshire defence as Suffolk counter, into the area Bridgeman comes to meet her going to ground committed Howlett gets the ball past her moving away from goal turns the shot back in towards goal, Sinclaire getting back clears the ball from inside the six yard box.

   GOAL! 23 minutes into the match and the visitors double their lead the ball is out on the right side between them Howlett and Gemma Moore keep hold of the ball off a throw and the cross is played in centrally into the Hertfordshire six yard box, Thomas unmarked sees the ball onto her foot turning it into the back of the net. 0-2.

  Sophie Welton gets forwards for Suffolk on the right plays the all on for Moore taking it into the corner does well to squeeze a cross in towards the near post Sinclaire with a vital header clears the ball behind for a corner with Thomas closing in. Hertfordshire defend the corner go on the attack Day's cross cleared by Fagg the counter is on Paige Shorten playing the ball on for Howlett up top looks offside this time but the flag stays down takes the ball on into the box shoots early trying to get the ball past the advancing keeper, Bridgeman with an instinctive save with her foot the ball deflected to the right Moore getting forwards to support Howlett shoots the ball angling wide into the side netting. Hertfordshire make a 2nd change Bilge Taspinar coming on for Crick going into midfield with Randall dropping into defence.

  GOAL! Hertfordshire pull a goal back is a well worked move down the right the ball sent out to Gower who takes players on before squaring the ball into the area, 2 yards inside right side Payne stretching does well to control the ball and lay it back out of the area before a challenge and come in. Josland running in meets the ball hitting the shot hard into the box across the goal and into the back of the net to score 1-2.

 A smart save from Bridgeman up the other end as Suffolk get bodies forwards the ball out on the right is fired up into the box far side Etheridge brings it down spots Clement charging into the area lays the ball into her path hitting the shot on the run producing a great save from the Hertfordshire keeper pushing the ball behind for the corner. Clement then latches onto a goal-kick putting the ball over the top for Thomas goes to volley it with the outside of her boot with the keeper rushing off her line can't direct the shot on target.

  Coggins brings the ball forwards for Hertfordshire on the left inside to Hepton who plays the ball wide for Day as she and Payne both look to get in behind, Day looks to play the ball in the Suffolk defence converge on the ball en mass to clear. Keeping possession inside the Suffolk half Taspinar is fouled wide right a chance for Randall to launch the ball into the area is Fagg who rises highest to get her head on the ball clear for Suffolk. Fagg again stops a goal scoring opportunity as the ball is played into Hepton 25 yards out back to goal, looking to flick the ball over her shoulder turn in behind Fagg marking her closely is the right side to get her foot on the ball as the 1st half enters the final minute.

  GOAL! Hertfordshire get themselves back on level terms late in the 1st half the ball squared to Gower on the right side, shapes to go inside then turns wide evading her marker to get in behind take the ball on down the line squares the cross in towards the near post, Payne coming near post inside the six yard box gets her head on the ball turning it across goal over the line at the far post 2-2. 

 Half-time Hertfordshire FA Women 2-2 Suffolk FA Women

  Suffolk started the game better and have been dominant in attack creating chances testing an unfamiliar Hertfordshire defence. Thomas taking her tally to 5 goals in 2 matches. Hertfordshire grew into the game and came back to level it at 2-2 with two well worked goals. All to play for 2nd half.

  A change at the start for Suffolk as they did in the 1st game switching goalkeepers with Charlie Osborne starting that time around comes on this time for Brogan. Suffolk get the 2nd half under way on the attack straight away the ball is with Etheridge now on the right with Moore left. The ball is played into the middle outside the box Clement heads the ball into the Hertfordshire area Thomas coming in right side goes to head the ball puts it wide across goal as she and Randall collide the defender coming off 2nd best needing to go off for treatment.

  Is off the field with Suffolk having a corner the ball on the right cut out near side for a 2nd corner this one going further into the middle of the six yard box, Bridgeman gets both fists on the ball to punch clear, Randall returns to the action. Taspinar in the middle drives forwards for Hertfordshire lays the ball into Hepton just inside the box left of goal holding it up Payne is coming in calling for the ball rolled into her, her shot is charged down rebounds back to Day on the left 30 yards out goes to lift the ball high into the area, backpedalling Osborne has to keep her eye on the ball catches it cleanly inside her six yard box.
  GOAL! 7 minutes into the 2nd half Suffolk retake the lead and it's Thomas who scores the goal to complete her hat-trick. The goal coming from a Hertfordshire corner kick the ball swung in from the left is knocked out of the six yard box into Howlett at the top of the area bringing it out plays the ball on for Clement who looks to get the ball into Thomas, misplaced the Hertfordshire defence have the ball but Thomas coming in pressures the ball winning it takes it in behind shooting from outside the box burying the ball into the back of the net 2-3.

A 2nd successive hat-trick in the
East Anglian Counties Championship
for Natasha Thomas
  An unorthodox clearance from Osborne inside her area as the ball is flighted in from the left side coming out meets the ball on the volley, good skill to get the ball away from danger. A change for Suffolk as they bring on Abbie Everson for her debut, Clement the player coming off. Howlett fires a shot wide of goal for Suffolk as she gets onto the end of a Moore header on the left. A corner is given the ball swung in from the right strikes the base of the near post bounces back out into the six yard box Fagg tries to stab it goalwards Bridgeman on the floor makes the save holding onto the ball. 

  Hertfordshire make a change Tash Crick coming on for Gash. Hertfordshire go on the attack Taspinar getting forwards with the ball has Hepton to her right plays it wide to Crick on the wing taking the ball down the line her cross is cut out by Hubbard. The home side with a corner on the right the ball swept in near post Fagg up again to head away for Suffolk back to the corner taker the shot fired in Osborne at her near post holds onto the ball a quick counter the ball played through the middle into Thomas 20 yards out jinks right then left finding room to shot puts the ball wide of the post. A good tackle from Hertfordshire's Sinclaire to deny Howlett an opportunity to get into the box and shoot from the left as Moore plays her on down the line the corner conceded. Suffolk made another change, Beth Welton coming on her her debut replacing Moore, sees her go over to the right side twin sister Sophie pushed forwards to an attacking role on the left.

 A turn and hit from Howlett 20 yards out as they work the ball infield from a throw on the right takes a nick on the way through a corner signalled taken from the right Thomas misses her attempted overhead kick. A great ball from Shorten as she goes long with the pass inside her own half picking out Sophie Welton on the left bursting forwards with the ball looks to pick out Thomas with the cross, Randall lunging slides in to cut out the cross concede the corner. The ball flies through the six yard box Suffolk players jumping can't reach it. A double change for Hertfordshire with 10 minutes left on the clock, Millie Guest and Sian Owens coming on for Hepton and Gower. Howlett comes off for Suffolk, Moore returning to the field.

  The ball is played up field by Hubbard for Sophie Welton on the left in field is pushed wide inside the area by Wood-Thompson who then times her tackle well to win the ball and play it up field for Hertfordshire. Suffolk doing well late on keeping possession preventing Hertfordshire getting the ball and building an attack. Shorten very nearly gets Moore in behind with a threaded pass through the middle Coggins reacts well getting to the ball 1st. Everson gets the ball out to Sophie Welton on the left taking it on to the top of the area cross inside to Thomas, Bridgeman coming to close her down makes a great save going to ground the ball squirming past her Thomas goes after it looking to turn it into the back of the net Sinclaire gets back to make to make the block turn the ball behind for a corner kick. Put in from the right is a good delivery near post headed on met by Sophie Welton far post heads the ball down Hertfordshire clearing the ball on the line.

  Hertfordshire push on late in the 2nd half stoppage time being played looking for an equalising goal, Payne moving right tries to get Crick in down the wing, Hubbard tackles to put the ball out for the throw is played into the box right side Taspinar holding it up tries to find room for a shot Suffolk win the ball back counter....

  GOAL! Bringing the ball out from the back Shorten left side plays a fantastic ball forwards for Thomas to run onto through the centre with play stretched, composure on the ball outside the box powers her shot past Bridgeman to score her 4th goal of the match 2-4.

  Is virtually the last action of the game the referee blowing the final whistle and Suffolk winning the game 4-2 to move onto 6 points at the top of the group with a game left in the New Year away to Kent win that and they well retain the Fred Welham Cup.

Full-time Hertfordshire FA Women 2-4 Suffolk FA Women

  A good game to watch as every county representative match is I've been to a good showcase for the women's game and a good place to start if you want to see what it's all about. Suffolk did well, played some good football, getting into an early lead only to be pegged back, retaking the lead early 2nd half and holding onto their advantage. A strong squad already bolstered by some good performances from the youngsters coming in for their debuts. Hertfordshire start with a loss but can take plenty of positives from the match a new look side showed some good build up play and both goals came in that fashion. Have two matches against Essex and Kent to look forwards to in the New Year.

  My thanks to Darryn Marsh from the Suffolk FA and the Hertfordshire FA staff for their help with the teams tonight.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Match Report - Norwich City Ladies v Lowestoft Town Ladies

  A trip across Norfolk this Sunday to catch another game of football from the FA Women's Cup. A local derby match too! Postponed from last Sunday due to a water-logged pitch the game survived the overnight rain deposited across the South East by Storm Angus, the venue Plantation Park home of Norwich City Ladies hosting Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town Ladies in 4th Round Qualifying.

   Both sides playing for a place in the 1st Round Proper of the competition the draw already made know their opponents, a home tie against fellow South East Division One side AFC Wimbledon Ladies one of the early pacesetters in the league. Both sides entering the FA Women's Cup in the previous round.

  Norwich City Ladies were at home in 3rd Round Qualifying played Peterborough based side Riverside Rovers Ladies playing 2 leagues below them in the EMWFL Division One South won the game comfortably racking up a double figure score 10-0 to advance to the next round. Lowestoft Town Ladies were at home too in 3rd Round Qualifying beating fellow South East Division One side Enfield Town Ladies for the 2nd time in a week 2-0 to reach the next round.

  The venue for today's game Plantation Park was touch and go as to whether it would survive the over night storm, hard work in the morning by Norwich Cty Ladies and Norwich United inspecting the ground early saw it go ahead so long as there wasn't anymore heavy rain, leaden skies above didn't look promising but nevertheless the match was on for a 1pm kick-off, extra-time and penalties if required to settle the tie today. Is a small covered stand upon one side of the ground for spectators to watch keep out of the rain.
Norwich City Ladies starting XI - Fiona Coombes, Erin Wilson, Rebecca Russell, Bryony Rapley, Kate Parsons (C), Jodie Drake, Paige Shorten, Brooke Osborne, Kyla Love, Natasha Snelling & Chelsea Garrett.
subs - Ellie Bird, Emily Moerkerk, Ellen Swift & Kayti Simonson. 

Lowestoft Town Ladies starting XI - Eilish Brogan, Lindsey Adams, Charnelle Riggall, Abbie Everson, Ellie Froud, Broghan Scully, Cassie Craddock, Gemma Moore, Aimee Durrant, Molly Hall & Hannah Waters (C).
subs - Millie Cursons & Nina Batchelor.

  A switch of ends at the start the breeze picking up blowing from one goalmouth to the other across the pitch Lowestoft having it at their backs 1st half with Norwich kicking off wearing green shirts and socks with yellow shorts, Lowestoft kitted out in an all blue kit, both going to have a lot of brown added during the match it's muddy out there pity the kit washers. The ball is out of play straight away for a throw on the left.

  Lowestoft are awarded a free-kick jut inside their own half is played long with Molly Hall peeling into space on the right looking to get in behind, can't catch the ball before it runs out of play, from the goal-kick Aimee Durrant wins the ball for Lowestoft coming inside passes the ball out to Hannah Waters Lowestoft's captain drifting away to the right squares the ball back in along the top of the box is cleared by Bryony Rapley for Norwich before Durrant can run onto it. A god start from Lowestoft pressuring Norwich at the back for the ball, Gemma Moore on the left wins her side the 1st corner of the game takes it, lifting the ball into the six yard box Waters jumping near post can't reach the ball.

Lowestoft Town Ladies
captain Hannah Waters

  A counter attack from Norwich the ball played forwards to Natasha Snelling on the left drills a diagonal ball into the area, is cleared by Lowestoft's Lindsey Adams spinning out into the middle Paige Shorten racing onto the ball goes to hit a shot a bobble sees her slice it horribly wide, turns into a good ball for Erin Wilson the Norwich right back getting forwards lifts a cross up into the area Lowestoft head clear.

  Is wet and muddy out there going to ground to make a challenge is risky, Norwich's Rebecca Russell is late with her tackle catches Waters as she tries to bring the ball forwards on the right bringing her to the ground a painful one but Waters is okay. Russell gets yellow carded. The ball is played up into the area the header won by Norwich is knocked into the ground, the home side struggling to clear their lines the ball rebounds to Moore 20 yards out left of the D fires a low shot in through the crowd, Norwich goalkeeper Fiona Coombes dives to her right pushes the ball wide for a corner. The ball goes long towards the far post the ball is headed down Durrant 3 yards out, cleared off the line by Norwich for a 2nd corner. Hall moves towards the ball this time can't direct her header on target comes back to Moore who plays her cross into the side netting.

   Has a derby feel about it the slippery conditions meaning the challenges aren't well timed or controlled to make matters worse a light rain has started to fall blowing across the pitch. Shorten with a good pass forwards looks to play Chelsea Garrett in behind, Lowestoft's Ellie Froud with a good tackle to get her foot on the ball prevents the striker getting a run at goal. The ball out for a throw on the left is played inside rolled into Shorten's path goes for the long distance pile driver again the spin on the shot seeing it run away from goal. 

Ellie Froud in defence for Lowestoft Town Ladies

  Charnelle Riggall brings the ball on for Lowestoft up the right passes the ball into Cassie Craddock ahead of her flicks it on for Hall moving right, sends the ball into the area, Wilson clearing far post for Norwich. The ball is played up top quickly by Jodie Drake into Garrett good control with her back to goal 25 yards out turns tries to roll it through into the box for Snelling coming in from the left, too close to Brogan the Lowestoft keeper getting her gloves around the ball 1st.

Norwich City Ladies, Natasha Snelling

  Norwich win the ball at the back, Kyla Love back to support her defence has the ball inside her own half takes it down the right, a storming run carrying it 3 quarters the length of the pitch evading two challenges squares the ball into the area looking to pick out Garrett near post as she arrives in the box, the ball is taken off her toes by Lowestoft's Lindsey Adams getting across from left back to defend. Norwich pressuring the ball is deflected into the middle for Shorten gets the pass in behind for Garrett coming in from the left, Brogan commits early sliding in the pair collide inside the box and Garrett squeezes a shot past her runs wide across goal, both striker and keeper are okay to continue. Both come together in a similar incident moments later this time Garrett is flagged offside moving into the box from the right.

Norwich City Ladies, Chelsea Garrett with Lowestoft's Broghan Scully

 Broghan Scully gets her foot on the ball in the middle for Lowestoft passes the ball into Hall 25 yards out right of goal, goes to shot Norwich captain Kate Parson's charging the shot down as the rain starts to fall heavily. Durrant carries the ball on up the left side, skipping past a lunging challenge gets into the box pulls the trigger aiming near post Coombes has the angle covered parries the ball down and catches safely. On the opposite flank Waters is played in behind coming in from the right shoots from just outside the box, Coombes across to cover her near post gloves the ball down and saves. Moore with a long range shot sends the ball over the crossbar for Lowestoft from 30 yards out. The rain is getting heavier the wind picking up. Lowestoft are pushing hard as the 1st half moves towards the last 10 minutes, Durrant with the ball on the left rolls it on into the box for Moore to go after, Wilson gets her foot on the ball conceded the corner.

  GOAL! Lowestoft take the lead the goal coming from the corner, a great inswinging ball put in by Moore across the six yard evades everyone and goes into the back of the net far post. Moore scoring straight from the corner 0-1.

Gemma Moore scores direct
from the corner for Lowestoft
Town Ladies
  Bizarrely just as the rain and wind has been at it's worst it quickly fades as Norwich attack from the restart the ball sent long to Snelling on the right whips an early ball into the Lowestoft area bounces through to the far post, Love free that side coming in can't get near it as it runs out of play. Brooke Osborne puts pressure on the Lowestoft defence wins her side a corner on the right. Brogan coming for the ball near post misses it but so does everyone else as it flashes across the six yard box. 

  Russell gets the ball back to Coombes at the back for Norwich with Waters giving chase to a long pass on the right the ball cleared for a throw is played into Hall inside the box right of goal 8 yards out holds of Parsons to turn and shoot playing the ball wide of the post. 

Lowestoft's Molly Hall, holds off Norwich's Kate Parsons before shooting wide.

  Into 1st half injury time Snelling is fouled outside the box on the right for Norwich, a chance for Shorten to play the set-piece into the area whips the ball in towards the near post, Brogan unchallenged can see it bounce off the surface into her gloves as the referee brings an end to the 1st half.
Half-time Norwich City Ladies 0-1 Lowestoft Town Ladies

   A 1-0 advantage for Lowestoft as the sides head into the dressing room for half-time have dealt with the difficult playing conditions better than Norwich in the 1st half creating more chances and getting into the lead. Thankfully those conditions have dried up the wind dying down the rain stopping even a peek from the blue sky above the black clouds above. Came Lowestoft hold onto their lead 2nd half or will Norwich step it up get back on level terms it's Lowestoft to get the 2nd half underway.

  Norwich get hold of the ball, Parsons playing it up to Osborne on the right, mis-controls the ball spinning infield, Garrett goes after it looks to get it out to Osborne moving into the area plays is stopped by the assistants flag, Osborne caught offside. Moore gets the ball forwards for Lowestoft, tries to pick out Hall drifting away into space wide left, getting the ball into her feet cuts back inside plays the cross in towards the near post, Coombes claims the ball with Waters running in behind. 

  A great save from Brogan in the Lowestoft goal keeps their lead intact as Norwich starting the 1st half brightly capitalise on a poor ball out from the back, Garrett latching onto it moving right spins and lifts the ball into the six yard box, Love is there in a central position 3 yards out connects with the ball, Brogan a yard away reacts instinctively falling back it looks a certain goal, however the keeper flings out a glove knocks the ball up killing its pace and as it drops to the floor plucks it into her body before Love and get a 2nd stab at it.

  As contrasting as the weather 1st half so is the start Norwich coming at Lowestoft keeping them penned in their own half. Garrett gathering the ball into her body central outside the box sends it across to Osborne on the right moving down the wing cuts the cross back into the area runs behind the Norwich players attacking the six yard box. Garrett on the ball again down the right off a throw for Norwich curls a cross into the box swinging away from goal nestles into the side netting. 

  Brogan with more goalkeeping heroics as she comes charging out of her area sliding in low saves with her knees off Snelling left side outside the box as Drake gets the ball into her the keepers clearance goes straight to Love however the chance to shoot is on Love takes it with Lowestoft defenders racing back to cover the goal the ball bouncing inside the six yard box runs wide. 

  GOAL! The positive attacking start to the 2nd half from Norwich tells as they get themselves back on level terms 10 minutes played the ball is lifted up into the area shots are blocked at the top of the area central Lowestoft battling to get the ball away. Pinging around a rebound takes it out of the box 25 yards out Shorten's eyes light up she isn't afraid to have a shot from distance two wayward attempts in the 1st half this is anything but, a belter of a strike nothing Brogan can do as it flies past her into the back of the net beyond 1-1.

Paige Shorten equalises for
Norwich City Ladies
  Norwich continue to press from the restart winning the ball, Drake takes on a strike from 25 yards out straight at Brogan the keeper parryig it down to claim inside her six yard box. Attacking up the left Norwich fire the ball long into the box for Garrett to chase after right of goal inside the six yard box tries to put her shot back across the keeper, going to ground Brogan throws out her right arm gets it around the ball. Build up through the middle Drake plays the ball into Snelling who helps it into the box for Garrett to her right takes on the shot as the ball rolls across her body slices it off target at the near post.

  Lowestoft make the 1st substitution of the game bringing on Nina Batchelor for Scully in midfield. Brogan is at it again for Lowestoft in goal making another instinctive save as Norwich are awarded a free-kick wide on the right, Shorten playing the ball long towards the far post, Parson's jumping heads the ball down from close range, straight at Brogan the goalkeeper saves pushing the ball up over the bar to land on the roof of the net. 

Natasha Snelling puts Norwich
into the lead
GOAL! Norwich having gotten it back to 1-1 get themselves into the lead catch Lowestoft out from the corner Love free right offers herself for a a ball up the line the ball is whipped into the box from the top of the area a good delivery coming low far post is turned into the back of the net from close range, Snelling the player running out of the area in celebration having scored 2-1.

   Lowestoft go on the attack from the restart getting the ball in field into Craddock passes to Durrant on the right moving inside lets fly with a shot from all of 30 yards out Coombes getting down low to her left pushes the ball behind for a corner kick.

  GOAL! Norwich's lead is short-lived as Lowestoft score from a corner for the 2nd time in the match, Moore to take it from the left another good delivery an inswinging ball flies across the six yard box looks to come back off the far post into the middle of goal, players from both sides converge on the ball, it is stabbed over the goal line Lowestoft running out of the area celebrating, Abbie Everson with the final touch is credited with the goal 2-2.

Moore's corner flies across goal about to come back off the post before Abbie Everson central scores to make it 2-2

  Everson is booked soon after committing a foul inside the Norwich half on the right, players go forwards, Parsons plays the ball central into Shorten who lays it out to Wilson on the right, marked by Moore, Wilson is clipped as she runs across her the incident just inside the area right corner the referee points to the spot, penalty given! A chance for Norwich to retake the lead. Shorten on the spot-kick g0es for power hitting the ball to the right, Brogan guesses right and diving pushes the ball away making the save the ball cleared for a throw that side.

  Norwich with a corner on the left the ball is sliced in towards Love outside the box central running onto the shot hits it into the ground bouncing up swings wide of the Lowestoft goal. The visitors have struggled 2nd half to get the ball into their attackers, Waters kept quiet up top, Durrant makes ground on the right delivers a good ball into the box top of the area Rapley misses her header catches Hall coming in behind by surprise gets her foot onto the ball but before she can shift it to shoot Wilson nips in to tackle win it back for Norwich.

Lowestoft Town Ladies, Aimee Durrant

  Love is fouled wide on the left for Norwich in a deep position players move up into the area the ball is put high into the near post area, Hall back to defend for Lowestoft jumps highest to head the ball away across the face of goal. Everson gets back on Garrett to take the ball off her toe inside the box after the Norwich attacker gets hold of the ball from a goal-kick drives forwards the ball deflected away for a corner on the left. Moore headers the ball out of the area defending the near post for Lowestoft drops to Shorten who plays it back into the mix Parsons getting jump 10 yards out headers the ball wide.

  Snelling is off for Norwich with Emily Moerkerk coming on into midfield. Shorten drifting right for Norwich plays the ball into the area, cleared back to her squares it into Garrett inside the D back to goal shifts the ball to her left turning and hitting a shot rising is wide of the top corner. The final whistle blows and with the floodlights starting to take affect the game heads into extra-time.

Full-time Norwich City Ladies 2-2 Lowestoft Town Ladies

  A better 2nd half display from Norwich to get themselves back onto level terms then take the lead. Lowestoft have been on the ropes but got themselves back into it straight away after going behind levelling it up at 2-2 with goalkeeper Brogan pulling off some great saves.

Lowestoft Town Ladies goalkeeper, Eilish Brogan


Norwich to get the 1st half of extra-time under way, continue to attack the same goal they did 2nd half. Craddock wins possession for Lowestoft plays the ball out to Durrant on the right driving forwards tries to lift the ball over the Norwich defence into the box with Waters moving in behind, Parsons gets her head on the ball to intercept. Durrant with the ball at her feet on the right again cuts the ball into the box no one gambling as Coombes claims inside her six yard box. 

  Osborne plays the ball on up the right for Garrett coming across into space taking it on down the wing sends a cross into the box races behind the attackers arriving in the six yard box. Waters is put in over the top on the right for Lowestoft looks to drive infield into the box is tackled by Parsons the ball going out for a throw. The ball is played into the area right side held up by Hall, turns well sends a shot across the face of goal skims off the far post before running out of play for a goal-kick.

  GOAL! Lowestoft get themselves back into the lead the ball is on the left from a throw knocking in field outside the area 25 yards out Hall goes after it a crunching 50/50 challenge leaving a Norwich defender grounded the ball runs into the path of Craddock takes on the shot 1st time lifting the ball up and over Coombes into the back of the net beyond 2-3.

Cassie Craddock gives Lowestoft Town Ladies the lead in extra-time
  Moerkerk plays the ball into Love in a central position inside the D outside the Lowestoft box, holding the ball up is allowed to turn and get a shot away runs wide of the post. Love comes across to the right side telling Osborne to go the other way as she does the ball comes to her in a central position 25 yards out goes for goal Brogan diving to her left pushes the ball wide for the corner kick. 

 GOAL! Norwich equalise to make it 3-3 from the corner the ball comes in towards the top of the area helped onto Osborne far side fires the cross into the middle, Drake sees her shot blocked the ball cleared out of the area falls to Garrett 30 yards out left sends the shot in flies over the keeper to nestle into the back of the net another quality strike from distance. 

 Norwich make a change late in the 1st period of extra-time Ellen Swift coming on to replace Garrett.

   Half-time extra-time Norwich City Ladies 3-3 Lowestoft Town Ladies

 Lowestoft kick-off the 2nd period of extra-time 15 minutes for either side to find a winning goal or it'll be settled by penalties. Lowestoft go long to the right for Durrant from kick-off, trying to get down the line is tackled well by Russell. The ball goes long up field for Drake 25 yards out turns playing the ball into the path of Shorten making a forwards run to get into the area left side of the D, Brogan comes rushing out goes to ground, Shorten gets the ball past the keeper runs wide across goal beyond. 

  Waters beats the Norwich offside trap as Durrant gets the ball forwards into her on the right, Coombes comes out to the edge of her area to clear the ball before Waters can get there puts it back out right Durrant goes after it sees her cross blocked before going down with cramp. Players are starting to tire on both sides a wet and heavy pitch starting to take its toll. 

  Russell slices a Lowestoft cross behind for a corner kick on the right, the ball is delivered far post from close range the ball is headed down into the ground, Norwich have a player on the line the ball is cleared from danger out for a throw. Play is stretched end to end tired balls however are not finding there mark. Durrant getting onto the ball from a goal-kick turns inside from the right plays the ball into the area just behind Waters running near post falls to Hall behind her stuck under her feet tries to get it under control evades one challenge lines up a shot Parsons lunges in to win the ball put it away to the left for a throw.

  Craddock finds the energy to drive with the ball through the middle of the park for Lowestoft lays the pass into Durrant on the right in space goes to shoot, the ball held by Coombes at her near post. Moore passes to Durrant on the right side her cross is headed out of the area is won back by Lowestoft played back into the area, Durrant pressures Russell on the ball inside the six yard box as she comes inside looking to clear, smashes the ball against Durrant who jumps to block, the deflection is flying towards the top corner so is Coombes a spectacular save to take the ball behind for the corner keep the scores level in extra-time. 

  All action in the closing minutes as the rain returns the light fades quickly the floodlights needed now. Norwich bring on Kayti Simonson for Drake. Durrant on the right latches onto a tired Norwich clearance goes for goal 35 yards out sends the shot over the crossbar. Hall has a strike from 30 yards out central left of goal Coombes dives to her left pushes the ball wide for the corner not long left the referee has his whistle in his mouth. Another great in swinger from Moore on the left into the six yard box, Coombes up gets a fist on the ball knocks it down into the area then saves save Hall getting a touch on the ball prods it straight into the keeper. The match goes to penalties.

  Might have mentioned I hate penalties before but that's the way it is been an enthralling contest by both sides contrasting halves both could have won it, fair to say neither deserve to loose it but we have to have a winner.


 Norwich to take the opening penalty it's their captain Parsons to take it cool as you like sends the ball to the keepers left into the back of the net 1-0.

  Durrant up 1st for Lowestoft places the ball on the spot, Coombes wearing wearing bright pink with alot of movement on her goal line as she goes to strike the ball, sends the ball wide of the post to miss 1-0.

  Shorten up next to take Norwich's 2nd penalty saw her strike saved by Brogan in the 2nd half diving to her right, Brogan does the same, Shorten doesn't putting the ball low to her left to score 2-0.

 Lowestoft captain Waters up next to take the visitors 2nd penalty powers the spot kick high to the keepers right, Coombes diving gets a glove to the ball but can't keep it out 2-1.

 Ellen Swift with Norwich's 3rd penalty kick hits it low and accurate into the bottom right corner to score 3-1.

  Hall comes forwards to take Lowestoft's 3rd penalty kick, a short run up 2 steps but plenty of power in her legs drives the ball home high into the net 3-2

 Rapley to take Norwich's 4th spot kick goes for height again only this time the ball flies over the bar the score remains 3-2.

  Moore comes forwards to take Lowestoft's 4th penalty with a chance to level things up coolly slots the ball down the middle sending Coombes the wrong way. 3-3.

  Osborne to take the 5th penalty for Norwich has to score Brogan guesses right dives the right way as Osborne hits the ball in low along the ground but gets enough power on her strike is past the keeper into the back of the net before she can save it 4-3.
  Craddock up last to take the 5th Lowestoft penalty scores and it goes to sudden death runs up goes for power and height the ball smashing off the crossbar heartbreak! Norwich rush from halfway in celebration however the referees assistant is waving his flag furiously, the officials consult did Coombes move off her line too early, Parsons goes over to them but the celebration can continue Norwich win the penalty shoot-out 4-3 to advance into the 1st Round Proper of the FA Women's Cup.

 A fantastic game for the neutral had it all rather not see a penalty shoot-out but there you go credit to both sides played some great stuff on a difficult surface and rubbish weather. The result both will agree could have gone either way. Norwich will now be at home in two weeks time playing AFC Wimbledon Ladies for a place in the 2nd Round Proper of the FA Women's Cup.

  My thanks to both sides for their help with the teams on the day.