Thursday 18 May 2017

Match Report - Norwich City Ladies v Lowestoft Town Ladies

  A midweek trip up the A47 to watch a local derby match from the FAWPL South East Division One with Norwich City Ladies battling to avoid relegation hosting already relegated Lowestoft Town Ladies at Plantation Park under the lights.

  The bottom 2 in the league both have had a difficult season. Most FAWPL fixtures completed just a handful of games remain but for Norwich City Ladies their final 2 league games are must win fixtures, know what they have to do if the want to assure their safety in the league after results at the weekend 2nd bottom are 5 points from 10th placed Stevenage Ladies with 2 home games against Lowestoft Town Ladies tonight and Luton Town Ladies on Sunday to come maximum points needed. 

  Come into the ground off the back of a heavy home loss to Actonians Ladies on Sunday. Have been at the wrong end of the table all season, have lost players to injury notably captain Kate Parsons who will be on the sidelines for some time to come, her experience a huge loss to a squad alot of young players coming into the 1st team this season, plenty of talent and potential throughout. 

  Like Norwich, Lowestoft Town Ladies have experienced a difficult and testing season. At the bottom of the table for much of the campaign. Off field problems, 3 managerial changes, players coming and going their relegation was confirmed at the weekend as they lost to Enfield Town Ladies only 2 days after playing in the Suffolk Women's County Cup Final to Ipswich Town Ladies. Ending a 2 season's playing FAWPL football.

  Like their opponents tonight have plenty of young players in their squad, thrown in at the deep end somewhat, stronger for it however, a solid core of players to regroup and rebuild around. Tonight's game the last of their season, a local derby raise themselves one last time and end on a high.

   Half expected this game to be called off however as heavy rain was forecast for Norfolk this Wednesday coming in from the west, was soaked at work rain pretty much falling all day, but travelling east along the A47 it was clear to see the area approaching Norwich had see alot less rainfall. Was dry at the ground, although that wasn't going to last. The large pitch at Plantation Park looked in good nick solid under foot and dry. Dark clouds making for a dull night the rain was coming.

 Norwich City Ladies starting XI - Fiona Coombes, Brooke Osborne, Bryony Radley, Grace Parker (C), Millie Daviss, Jodie Drake, Paige Shorten, Aimee Durrant, Kyla Love, Natasha Snelling & Chelsea Garrett.
 subs - Elle Swift, Emily McErkert, Erin Wilson.

 Lowestoft Town Ladies starting XI - Eilish Brogan, Lyndsey Adams, Charnelle Riggall, Lilly Bueggein, Abbie Everson, Cassie Craddock, Ciera Flatt, Amy Evans, Kayleigh Steed, Tiffany Forshaw & Hannah Waters. 
 subs - Ellie Froud, Gemma Moore & Lacey Andrews.

   It's Lowestoft to get the 1st half underway tonight wearing  an all blue kit with white trim. Norwich lined up opposite wearing green shirts with vertical yellow piping, yellow shorts and green socks. Norwich get hold of the ball early on Jodie Drake winning it in the middle played out to Aimee Durrant who looks to play a high ball up through the middle from striker Natasha Snelling to run onto, dropping to towards the top of the Lowestoft area, defender Abbie Everson watching the ball carefully volleys it clear .

 GOAL! Isn't long before Snelling finds her way in on goal as Norwich take the lead in the 4th minute of the game the ball won in the middle pushed on into Chelsea Garrett, puts the ball on her pass splitting the Lowestoft defence, Snelling getting a half yard ahead is on the ball taking it towards the top of the box, shoots sending a low drive past goalkeeper Eilish Brogan into the bottom corner of the net 1-0.

  A strong start to the game from Norwich, closing the ball down left side Kyla Love brings it on up the wing inside for Garrett, looks to turn inside get into the area is stopped by Lowestoft's Lyndsey Adams. A burst of pace from Durrant on the right wing for Norwich knocks the ball on getting in behind left back Charnelle Riggall, the defender recovering well getting back on the winger as she enters the box putting in the tackle nudging the ball out to concede the 1st corner of the game. 

  Paige Shorten on the corner fires a pacey ball into the six yard box missing everyone near post, Lowestoft clear the ball coming back out to Shorten at the top of the area, putting it back into the mix, Garrett gets up to put her head on the ball knocking it down across goal, Brogan can gather easily as it lands in her six yard box. Bryony Rapley carries the ball on for Norwich from the back on the left sending it on for Durrant as she runs in behind whips the cross into the area Brogan taking the catch above her head.

 GOAL! Norwich extend their lead with just 8 minutes played, the ball contested in midfield a shot is unleashed from distance, falling short of the mark Brogan is coming out towards the top of her area to gather, slips as she does so, not having full control of the ball Garrett racing in on the follow up connects with the ball sending it into the back of the empty net 2-0.

  The rain begins to fall the sky darkened noticeably the floodlights are switched on. Ciera Flatt is fouled inside the Norwich half right of the area as she tries to put the ball on into the path of captain Hannah Waters peeling into space on the right. Over the set-piece the ball is fired in towards the near post skipping up off the surface Norwich goalkeeper Fiona Coombes gets something on the ball but not bringing it under control can't prevent the ball running out for the corner kick. The delivery hit with pace into the near post area is knocked up into the air, dropping to the top of the box Lowestoft's Tiffany Forshaw onto it brings down well and turning strikes the ball her shot charged down.

  Norwich attack the ball with Rapley played on into Shorten finding room in the middle helps the ball on to Durrant already on the move wide right in behind crosses from deep the ball fired across the six yard box no runner coming in central finds Snelling beyond the far post, places her shot wide of the far post. Snelling has her shirt pulled as see tries to run through into the box as Garrett hooks the ball on into the area, the referee awarding the free-kick. Shorten over it smashes the ball into the Lowestoft wall looping up and on into the area, players attack the ball Lowestoft defend as the referee spots an infringement and awards the visitors the free-kick.

 Norwich dominating the opening 20 minutes, Love and Durrant coming on well on the wings, Durrant in particular finding her way in behind again cuts the ball back towards the top of the area Garrett inside with the deft lay off for Daviss coming on doesn't get a firm connection on the ball. Opportunities limited up the other end for Lowestoft, but Norwich are playing a high line room for strikers Forshaw and Waters to get in behind if the ball can find them, Waters breaks as the pass is put on for her to chase, no flag is clear on goal right side knocking it on Coombes comes racing out of her area sliding in makes the save as Waters smashes the ball against her deflecting it wide across the pitch cleared on the left. 

  Norwich captain, Grace Parker makes a vital tackle to deny Waters again as she aims to get onto a ball played on over the top from Cassie Craddock moving left Parker closing her down putting the ball out for a throw in. Norwich come on attacking Love inside to Shorten her strike from distance not troubling Brogan. A corner out of nothing for Norwich on the right the ball is cleared out of the six yard box comes to Durrant on the right miscues her cross slicing it away from goal however the ball is sliced behind for another corner as Lowestoft's defence goes to clear it. A great delivery from Shorten flashing across the six yard box players gathers far post the shot comes in the ball blocked on the line by the defender covering the post, skips up for Brogan to claim as she gets across her goal.

 Coombes with another blocking save at the top of her area as Waters is put on through the middle holding off Drake, the goalkeeper sliding in bravely taking a knock as the ball is stopped. A throw won on the right put into Forshaw fires it into Waters feet, lays the ball into the middle with Flatt bombing on striking the ball from all of 30 yards getting plenty on the shot the ball rolls wide across the box out for a goal kick.

 GOAL! 30 minutes on the clock and Lowestoft pull a goal back having been on the back foot early on. Coombes comes running out a long way outside her box seeing the threat as Flatt threads the ball through the Norwich defence with Waters timing her run in behind perfectly the keeper going to ground 30 yards from her goal does enough to thwart Waters as she goes to hit the ball, loose however Coombes scrambles to her feet back peddling to get back in her goal, is Forshaw who gets hold of the ball knows the keeper is off her line, doesn't rush the shot however taking time to knock it to her right opening up a yard of space to shoot fires the ball past Coombes who can only turn see the ball hi the back of the net 2-1. 

  A throw won on the left for Norwich as Brooke Osborne comes forwards to support Love. Love has the ball as her feet going on up the left rolls it on into the area with Snelling in behind, the keeper coming, Snelling stretching lunges for the ball manages to knock it past the advancing keeper but sees her shot run wide of the goal beyond.   
 GOAL! From 2-0 down Lowestoft come back to level the scores the ball from Everson into Flatt her pass into Forshaw left side over halfway helps it inside with Waters getting in behind the Norwich defence taking it on towards the box, Coombes comes racing out to the edge of her area to slide in and make the block as Waters goes to strike the ball. Both grounded the deflection comes straight to Flatt 20 yards out right side of the D, strikes the ball into empty net to make it 2-2.

  Durrant with more good running on the right wins Norwich a corner kick the delivery from Shorten is just over the leaping Garrett near post, dropping into the middle Parker stooping to head the ball puts it straight at Brogan the goalkeeper claiming the ball. Love coming forwards with the ball left side cuts infield lifts the ball on for Durrant right side just inside the box brings the ball down well on her chest and volleys it into the middle, Daviss helping it on falls to Snelling closing in on the far post her shot looping up spins away from goal.

  Playing a high line the Lowestoft attackers know Coombes is likely to be off her line if the ball can be played into them quickly, the rain falling heavily Kayleigh Steed on the left puts the ball on for Lowestoft the defensive header falls straight to Forshaw in front of the centre circle striking the ball early sends it looping up into the air, has Coombes in trouble the goalkeeper back peddling rapidly the ball dropping late bounces off her crossbar.

  Lilly Bueggein makes a god interception as Durrant goes forwards tries to pick out Snelling inside the area, the ball back with Durrant puts the diagonal ball long towards the far post Garrett throwing herself at it can't connect from close range the ball running wide.

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

  All square at 2-2 at the break, Norwich could easily have had the game wrapped up out of side starting superbly going 2-0 up inside the opening 8 minutes had good chances to extend the lead might have gone 4-0 up. Lowestoft found a way back into the game, Waters often played as a lone striker getting support up front tonight with Forshaw the strikers have been a threat both natural goalscorers taking advantage of Norwich's high line with Coombes prepared to come and go in bravely to stop the ball. Forshaw on hand to put the ball home from distance, Flatt levelling it up at 2-2 the 3 points there for the taking for either side. 

  Norwich to get the 2nd half underway the rain still falling persistent, sorely needed the dry pitch drinking it up. Lowestoft press the ball early getting possession in and around the box, Rapley defends as the ball is played into area by Flatt. Winning a throw high on the left the ball is put over the top Waters getting in behind the Norwich defence into the box on the left, Coombes makes a fantastic save to deny her as she comes to close Waters down the striker trying to head the ball past her Coombes flying in grabs the ball bringing it down into her body as the drops.

  Lowestoft have the momentum bringing the ball on up the left Steed inside for Waters in behind once again left side Coombes with another great save sliding in to block her effort grounded however the ball goes straight to Flatt outside the area, her 1st time shot is on target, Love with good work getting round on the cover heads the ball off her goal line to keep the scores level. Flatt and Craddock combine in the middle for Lowestoft the shot from distance by Craddock flies wide of the Norwich goal.

  Coombes is keeping Norwich in the game with Lowestoft coming on again makes another vital save as Forshaw steals in on the ball getting in past the Norwich defence into the box the goalkeeper racing out to meet the striker slides in saving well with her shins the ball cleared up field is helped on by Drake on wide right with Snelling in space, shoots on the angle, the crowd go up to celebrate thinking it's in however her shot has run wide behind goal. All action at the start of the 2nd half. 

  Flatt is clattered by Parker the referee awarding the free kick. Flatt okay after treatment the set-piece is a dangerous position 22 yards out left of the D. It's Craddock to take going for goal gets the ball over the wall dips late but lands on the roof of the net. Norwich absorbing the early attacks from Lowestoft begin to find a little more time on the ball Shorten picking Love out on the left side pushes forwards looking to get into the area, Adams comes back on her does well to shield the ball from the winger giving Everson the opportunity to get across a play it away.

 A double change for Lowestoft switching both their wide players, Evans ad Steed coming off, Gemma Moore and Ellie Froud coming on. Garrett with a strong run with the ball on the right side getting into the box wins a corner as Bueggein comes to challenge. The corner flashes through the six yard box no one from either side able to get a touch. Coombes comes racing out of her area again as Waters gets in behind the goalkeeper just managing to win the race for the ball outside her box, Forshaw after it again, this time is very quickly closed down.

  Adams tackles winning the ball from Love as she looks to link up with Shorten coming on with the ball. On the opposite side Riggall does a good job cutting out the crossfield ball from Drake left trying to put Durrant in behind on the right.An opportunity for Garrett to go for goal as the ball is fed into he from the left central top of the area slices her strike wide of goal. Shorten is brought down on the left flank, the ball put long towards the far post inside the box, Adams defends for Lowestoft.

   Coming forwards Durrant plays the ball on for Garrett moving into space on the right, plays the ball into the area for Snelling near side her lay off finds Drake outside the box hits the shot first time powering the ball in races wide past the far post. Into the last 15 minutes, Norwich's turn to make a double switch, bring off Daviss and Osborne. Ellen Swift and Erin Wilson coming on. Swift to join the attack Snelling dropping deeper, Wilson a straight swap at the back. 

 Another good tackle by Adams at right back for Lowestoft, as Love drives at her with the ball tries to cut inside the defender putting her foot in takes the ball cleanly. Up the other end Parker closes down Forshaw as she looks to bring the ball down carry it through the centre into the box. 

 GOAL! Into the closing minutes, Norwich need to win to keep their hopes of guaranteed safety in the league alive pushing on down the left the ball inside to Snelling the attacker is brought down around 25 yards from goal, left Brogan sets up her wall as Durrant comes across to take. Is a fantastic strike as good a free-kick as you'll see, right behind it as Durrant hits the ball up and over the wall moving quickly curls away from the diving Brogan as she throws herself across and into the top corner of the net. Durrant starts to run away in celebration but her shirt is grabbed and hauled to the floor is buried under her celebration team mates 3-2. 

 Little time left Lowestoft conceding a late goal having put in a good 2nd half performance push bodies forwards, Norwich regain possession the ball put down the left wing Shorten tries to hold it in the corner, Adams wins it for Lowestoft plays it up field but having just scored Norwich have found the extra energy win the ball back.

 GOAL! Norwich make sure of the 3 points as they hit Lowestoft on the counter the ball on from Snelling finding Love in a central position her touch knocking the ball in behind the defence into the area the keeper coming stays composed slides the ball past her into the goal beyond 4-2.

Full time Norwich City Ladies 4-2 Lowestoft Town Ladies

4-2 the final score Norwich get the 3 points taking them onto 13 points, 2 points behind Stevenage, play Luton Town Ladies at home on Sunday knowing there fate is still in their hands victory will see them safe. An entertaining local derby played in good spirit in the pouring rain, however the players for the whole were determined to stay on their feet play the ball around. Norwich getting off to the perfect start two early goals might have led 4-0 at half-time instead Lowestoft fought back to level it at 2-2. The visitors working really hard started the 2nd half well and might well have taken the lead themselves but for some excellent and brave goalkeeper from Coombes. The winning goals coming late on Durrant's free-kick a top quality strike. Love's the icing on the cake although a little unfair from Lowestoft's point of view having pushed so well 2nd half.

SWF Blog- Player of the Match

  Tonight's SWF Blog - Player of the Match goes to Norwich City Ladies goalkeeper Fiona Coombes making so very important saves, rushing out of her area when called upon going in bravely, keeping her side in the game early 2nd half as Lowestoft created some great opportunities in on goal.

  My thanks to both clubs for the team details tonight.

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