Watched Norwich City Ladies in action at home a little over a month ago in the FA Women's Cup winning a dramatic game with local rivals Lowestoft Town Ladies in a penalty shoot-out to reach the 1st Round Proper of the competition. Were to lose out at home to fellow FAWPL South East Division One side, AFC Wimbledon Ladies in the next round to exit the competition leaving the league as their sole objective going into the new year. In 10th place have just the 4 points on the board a point clear of the bottom 2, Stevenage Ladies and Lowestoft Town Ladies.
Norwich City Ladies are playing catch up with the rest of the league however having played just the 6 league games before today's game. Winning on the opening day of the season away to Lowestoft, have been integrating several new young players win their experienced squad members, losing their next 4 league games in a row including a 5-4 defeat to Actonians Ladies you might remember reading on the blog having been 4-1 down away from home only to come back to make it 4-4 in the 2nd half before eventually conceding a 5th goal to leave the capital with nothing. Their last league defeat away to Enfield Town Ladies back at the end of October 2-1. Got a point from their match last week welcoming 2nd placed AFC Wimbledon Ladies back to Plantation Park, Paige Shorten scoring in the last 10 minutes to make it 1-1 after the visitors had gone 1 up 10 minutes into the 2nd half. A busy 2017 looms for Norwich as they look to try and close the 8 point gap on the sides above them.
Enfield Town Ladies are the team Norwich City Ladies are looking to catch in 9th place in the FAWPL South East Division One table. 13 points from 13 games played to date, have a new manager with Marc Nurse-Moore taking over the job having been at West Ham United Ladies previously. Takes charge of one of the divisions established sides that made history last season reaching their 1st ever National Cup Final in what was their 30th anniversary year. A side that is always capable of going on a run in the league only 5 points between Enfield in 9th and Gillingham FC Ladies in 5th tight in the middle of the table. Nurse-Moore despite having a good sized squad at his disposal has had several players unavailable through injury at the start of the season. A 0-0 draw at home last time out in the league against Stevenage Ladies.
A new layout at Plantation Park on match days now, was easy before for supporters to wander through the main building past the changing rooms to get to the pitch, now instead you go around the Macron Store to the right entering through the turn-styles, access to the upstairs bar to the left, a large window provides a good overview of the pitch, can opt to watch the game from the comfort of indoors if you like, however I have a spot I like at Plantation park in the main stand I like so I headed there instead. The pitch is a good size has seen alot of action and looks fairly worn in places needs a rest over the festive period having seen alot of football and rain. Was a dry day today however the pitch drained well still and sunny if chilly.
Norwich City Ladies starting XI - Ellie Bird, Rebecca Russell, Erin Wilson, Bryony Rapley (C) Brooke Osborne, Millie Davies, Jodie Drake, Kyla Love, Ellen Swift, Chelsea Garrett & Natasha Snelling.
subs- Emily McErkerk, Teo Ilie & Kate Parsons.
Enfield Town Ladies starting XI - Jodie Sanderson, Sheryce Slater, Danielle Smith, Claire Ford, Cally Browne, Lizzie Kent, Nuala McKevitt (C), Stavroulla Panayiotou, Danjeta Krasnici, Alena Beganovic & Anna Loftus.
subs - Vicky Lewis, Kally-Anna Westgarth & Lisa Kline.
Shorten unavailable today for Norwich regular captain, Kate Parsons on the bench, Bryony Rapley wearing the captains armband today. Enfield were also without their regular captain, Regan Coleman with Nuala McKevitt wearing the armband today aswell as a bandage around her head to protect an injury that she had sustained earlier the season a severe cut to the head that kept her out for a few games.
It's Norwich to kick-off the 1st half wearing green shirts with yellow vertical piping, yellow shorts with green socks with Enfield lined up opposite wearing white shirts, blue shorts and blue and white hooped socks. Enfield press the ball right from the start win possession send the ball out to the left with Danjeta Krasnici looking to take the ball down the line, wins a throw deep in Norwich territory the ball is worked on into the area headed away, Enfield get it back Lizzie Kent playing it out Stavroulla Panayiotou on the right her diagonal ball into the box is marshalled back to Norwich goalkeeper, Ellie Bird by Rapley at the back.
|Norwich City Ladies, Rebecca Russell getting to the ball|
ahead of Enfield Town Ladies, Danjeta Krasnici
|Enfield Town Ladies, Claire Ford with Norwich|
City Ladies, Chelsea Garrett
Up the other end Bird is quickly out of her goalmouth to the left corner of her area to slide in and smother the ball at the feet of Krasnici on the left as she breaks in behind after Loftus in the middle closes down the Norwich back line the ball deflecting off her out to Krasnici. Davies fouls Enfield's, Alena Berganovic in front of the centre circle a free-kick given players go forwards lining up a top the area as Smith plays the ball forwards, McKevitt getting up looks to head the ball on into the area, runs out of play taking a touch of a Norwich body on the way through a corner is given. The ball sent in high to the near post is defended by Norwich, Kyla Love looks to break away down the left, Loftus gets back on her to tackle and win the ball the ball out for a throw on halfway.
Love gets hold of the ball and drives forwards down the left for Norwich, sends a low cross into the near post area, Snelling arriving at the top of the six yard box has not been picked up the ball into her looks to help it on across the keeper, runs across the face of goal narrowly wide at the far post. Is shaping up to be a good contest between the 2 sides Norwich give away a free-kick on half-way, Ford to play the ball long up towards the Norwich area, Kent jumps to try and get her head on the ball can't reach it. The ball is kept down that end Krasnici getting a throw on the left the ball is lifted inside to Kent 25 yards out looks to head the ball on into the area, Bird coming gets hold of the ball before it can be helped on.
|Danjeta Krasnici with Norwich's Natasha Snelling|
Garrett tries to get ahead of Ford through the middle as Osborne plays the ball on with the outside of her boot inside the centre circle, the Enfield defender holding up the Norwich attacker allowing Sanderson time to come and gather the ball as it runs into the box. Enfield counter attack the ball played into McKevitt her pass long for Panayiotou on the right wing plays an early ball across the face of the Norwich area, 25 yards out running onto the ball Loftus hits a shot 1st time her effort curling away from goal. Midway through the 1st half Enfield press forwards the ball with Panayiotou on the right wing fires the ball into the area the ball flashing wide across goal. Love looks a threat on the left for Norwich breaking from her own half with the ball is stopped by Ford getting across and sliding in to take the ball.
Drake plays the ball out to Garrett on the left side, puts the ball inside for Swift outside the box who looks to turn in behind with her 1st touch, Cally Browne reading the move throws out a leg to take the ball away from her. End to end action Rebecca Russell gets to the ball ahead of Krasnici on the left as Enfield try to get her away down the wing the ball is rolled into Snelling moves the ball on quickly with Garrett trying to get in behind run into the box, up against Ford the defender winning the race for the ball. Berganovic is fed in behind the Norwich defence, Bird out of her goal sharply gets to the ball 1st.
|Danielle Smith clears the ball for|
Enfield Town Ladies
Snelling drives forwards through the middle with the ball for Norwich her pass is forwards for Swift drifting to the right, Browne gets back on her to put the ball out to the right, Osborne racing forwards gets hold of it pushing down the line her 1st attempt to play the ball in is charged down the ball out for a throw taken quickly, Osborne gets her 2nd cross into the Enfield six yard box flashing across goal hits McKevitt on the back, deflecting it straight at her goal, but also straight into Sanderson well placed in the middle.
Slater throwing herself at the ball inside the box does just about enough far post to deny Garrett an attempt at goal as she makes the run inside having laid the ball into Snelling at the top of the area on the right as she brings the ball forwards for Norwich. Enfield attack through the middle the ball played into Loftus 30 yards out rolls it in field for Berganovic who looks to feed Panayiotou into the area from the right side, Love getting back tackles her inside the box coming away with the ball. Kent with the long pass out to the right sees Panayiotou attack down the line making for the byline wins Enfield a corner kick, a good delivery into the near post area the ball is dealt with by Rapley.
|Norwich City Ladies, Kyla Love|
Enfield press forwards as the 1st half moves into injury time, Panayiotou winning a corner on the right off Wilson. Bird comes through bodies to try and punch it clear near post knocking the ball up into the air is cleared only as far as Berganovic top of the area right of goal takes on the side a nick taking it behind for a 2nd corner kick, Ford gets up highest for it headers the ball down drops wide of the goal a 3rd corner is signalled try to go short with Loftus moving out to the left her ball into the area is cleared by Norwich.
Half-time Norwich City Ladies 1-0 Enfield Town Ladies
A narrow lead for Norwich at half-time as the two sides head for the changing rooms. A bright start from Enfield, Norwich coming back into the game a good contest so far both sides attacking with purpose looking to create chances in front of goal. The light starting to fade as the sides head out for the 2nd half, Enfield to get the 2nd half underway. The ball out to Panayiotou on the right, tackled by Wilson the ball out for a throw. Enfield with a strong start to the 2nd half keeping Norwich penned inside their own half, Love tries to get away on the left for the home side Ford coming across to slide in and stop her putting the ball out for the throw. Wilson throws the ball into Snelling the pair combining up the wing the ball swept high into the Enfield area is collected by Sanderson, Swift and Garrett running into the six yard box either side of her.
A throw deep on the right for Enfield the ball launched into the area for McKevitt, Norwich clear it comes straight at Loftus 30 yards out looks to meet the ball on the volley her shot back in bouncing wide of the target. Enfield make an early change 2nd half with Krasnici coming off, Lisa Kline substituted on takes up a central attacking role with Berganovic moving out to the left side. The visitors continue their good start to the 2nd half pushing players forwards, Bird coming near post to claim a cross lifted in from the left. A rapid build up from Enfield with good control in the middle from Loftus turning off her marker and laying the ball on into the box with Berganovic on the move inside from the left looking to get onto the end of it, Bird with a great save comes sliding out to close her down blocks the shot at her feet the ball loose runs out of the area with McKevitt sensing a chance, Drake getting back to challenge as McKevitt pulls the trigger the ball runs wide of goal.
|Anna Loftus scores to make it 1-1 for Enfield Town Ladies|
GOAL! A little over 10 minutes of the 2nd half played and Enfield pull the scores level. Breaking up a Norwich move the ball is played up through the middle coming into Loftus 25 yards out beats Wilson to the ball taking it on hits the falling ball sending it up into the area looping over Bird to drop into the goal beyond 1-1.
|Norwich City Ladies, Ellen Swift|
Norwich get on the attack from the restart the ball played out to the right Osborn getting forwards the early ball fired into Swift outside the box on the right, intends to let the ball run across her spin in behind, up against Ford the experienced centre back reading the move gets a foot on the ball to push it out of Swift's path. A change for Norwich as they win a free-kick inside the Enfield half, Kate Parsons coming on for Russell at the back. The fee-kick in front of the circle is played up into the Enfield area, Browne clearing fall to Drake outside the box hits a shot back in bounces wide of goal.
A shot from Swift from distance 30 yards or more flies in towards goal smashes down off the cross bar bounces behind Sanderson who gets hold of the bouncing ball, long way from that goal so couldn't tell, after the match the supporters watching from that end say it bounced over the line, the officials didn't give it however as play continues. Enfield play the ball forwards push plenty of players forwards in the move the ball rolled into Kent outside the box right of the D, looks to curl the ball in towards the far post, takes a deflection off a Norwich shirt that sees the ball run wide for a corner kick.
GOAL! 62 minutes into the match and Enfield capitalise on their great start to the 2nd half to take the lead from the corner kick, taken from the left a good delivery near post it's McKevitt who gets up well to meet the ball with her head sending the ball down across the face of the Norwich goal, bouncing off the base of the far stick and into the back of the net 1-2.
|Enfield Town Ladies captain, Nuala McKevitt|
Kline with the ball played into her 25 yards out turns off her marker heading towards the area looks to roll the ball on for Berganovic trying to get into the box from the left, is tackled by Rapley the ball out for throw. Berganovic with a strong run on the ball from the halfway line looks to sent Kline through into the area, Norwich defend Parsons getting the ball away for a throw left level with the top of the box. Berganovic takes the ball down and spinning in behind down the wing gets a cross into the area, Bird is able to collect unchallenged.
The ball is played forwards for Loftus drifting out to the right side as Enfield attack outside the box holds it up as players get forwards rolls it back for McKevitt who pass it inside to Kent outside the area right side looks to curl a ball in towards goal her effort blocked rebounds back to her tries to lift the ball in near post bounces wide of the target. Kent setting up another attack for Enfield plays the ball long for Berganovic on the left, is tackled by Osborne the counter attack on the ball with Love she is fouled inside the Enfield half the free-kick awarded a pause in play as she receives treatment. The ball is played down the right wing the cross put into the box early fired long across the face of goal, Snelling getting into the six yard box does well to get her leg up and turn the ball in towards goal at the post, Sanderson is equal to it getting across to make the save conceding the corner.
|Enfield Town Ladies|
The floodlights much needed come on as Love attacks down the left for Norwich, Slater with support from McKevitt stop her getting into the area. Swift gets onto the ball for Norwich on the right plays the ball into the box flying across the top of the six yard Garrett far post under challenge from Ford can't direct her shot on target. A corner for Norwich on the right the ball is cleared near post runs out to Love just outside the box right of the D shoots her attempt racing wide of goal. Norwich make their 2nd change Emily McErkerk comes on for Davies.
|Norwich City Ladies, Natasha Snelling|
Enfield fail to close down Snelling as the Norwich attacker is given the ball 30 yards out, takes on the shot sends the ball racing in towards goal, Sanderson flat footed in the middle of her goal as the ball skips past her, hits the base of the post and spins across the face of goal, no runners following up Enfield clear and launch a counter attack Kent playing the ball up the middle into Loftus who turning gets her head down and runs at the Norwich defence a good run across her from Kline outside the area sees Loftus run clear shoots from the top of the box the ball flies over Bird smashes down off the crossbar into the six yard box a scramble for the ball sees it cleared behind for a corner.
Moments after hitting the crossbar, Loftus sees another shot denied by the woodwork. Players forwards pressing Norwich back the home side clear the ball from their area falls to Kent right side 25 yards out headers the ball down inside to Loftus who curls a shot in beating the diving Bird throwing herself to the right the ball hitting the base of the post beyond before being cleared. Another day and Loftus would be celebrating a hat-trick. Loftus keeps the ball in play on the right 30 yard from goal spinning in behind takes the ball down the line before turning inside gets into the box and fires a shot over the bar.
Snelling is clipped the foul conceded in a central position 25 yards from goal. Parsons on the set-piece looks to go for goal getting the ball around the wall bounces inside the six yard box straight into Sanderson's gloves. Not much time left for Norwich to find a goal to level the scores 3 minutes of normal time to play as Enfield go on the attack Kline coming away with the ball in the middle charges towards the box sends the ball long towards the far post, Rapley getting the ball away before it can be met by Berganovic running in.
GOAL! Last minute of the game Norwich counter attack getting the ball forwards into Garrett on the right wing running clear heads for the area, Sanderson comes racing out to close her down Garrett gets the ball past her and it rolls on towards goal kissing the base of the far post before trickling over the line to see Norwich level 2-2.
|Chelsea Garrett, pictured with Enfield's Lizzie Kent with a|
late equaliser for Norwich City Ladies.
Breaks for injuries 2nd half will see several minutes of stoppage time played, both sides not content with the point push on looking for another goal, Enfield have the ball fed into Berganovic 25 yards outside the box a snap shot pulls the ball wide of the Norwich goal. Norwich attack up the other end, Love played onto the ball on the left spins in behind Slater tries to put the ball into the path of Garrett inside the box, Ford getting back on her her tackle deny the scoring opportunity late on. Enfield bring on Vicky Lewis in place of Browne. Loftus gets onto the ball right side for Enfield shoots early putting the ball straight at the keeper, Norwich loose possession trying to play the ball out from the back Loftus nipping in to win the ball 25 yards out lifts a high ball into the box straight at Bird the keeper is able to bring it down safely.
Full-time Norwich City Ladies 2-2 Enfield Town Ladies
Full-time and the match ends with a draw the points shared Norwich coming back from behind for the 2nd successive home match to earn a draw. A good contest between the two sides, Enfield doing well at the start of the 2nd half to get back on level terms then take the lead, could have won it denied by the woodwork twice. Norwich has two efforts come off the woodwork too and levelling late on may feel they could have nicked the win as well.
My thanks to both clubs today for their help with the teams. A good match to end 2016, 102 for the year that will do. Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year, see you by a pitch somewhere in 2017.