City Ladies go nap in FA Cup win

Norwich City Ladies 5, MK Dons Ladies 3At the fourth attempt, Norwich City Ladies progressed to the next round of the Women's FA Cup, going nap against MK Dons.

Norwich City Ladies 5, MK Dons Ladies 3

At the fourth attempt, Norwich City Ladies progressed to the next round of the Women's FA Cup, going nap against MK Dons.

This earned the South-East Combination side the right to face South-West Combination side Yeovil in the fourth round.

It was City who started the brighter of the two sides when a neat passing move found Shorten who placed her and Norwich's first attempt over the advancing keeper but landing just over the bar.

City soon had their second chance when Shorten drove forward, before putting Drake through to send an inch perfect pass across the Dons goal and just passed the on rushing Parsons.

A further opportunity fell to Paige when a move in which she started was timely laid back to her where she struck the ball with power towards the goal, only to see her shot spectacularly put round the post by the MK Dons keeper.

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On the seventh minute, against the run of play, Norwich failed to clear their lines and track back and in MK Dons' first significant chance of the game, they found the net.

City responded immediately when Thacker read a ball played through and found Shorten, who played the ball across the goal and Drake volleyed the ball home for a well-deserved equaliser.

With only 10 minutes played City got their second, resulting from a mis-timed challenge on Garrett just outside the MK Dons area.

The free kick was taken by Shorten and the ball skipped low through the defence and ended up at Parsons who toe-poked the ball home.

It was then MK Dons' turn to put pressure on the City goal but Clarke was having a good game, and reading situations that often resulted in her needing to come off her line to clear the ball.

However City were fortunate not to concede when Peverley managed to clear the ball off the line after a goalmouth scramble.

In possession City looked in control and when Shorten was played through after good work from Bray and Bygrave she found the keeper in no mood to concede, saving with her feet.

Within seconds of that chance City found themselves with another, following a high ball in to the area in which Bray challenged the Dons keeper, with the ball on the floor, Shorten look odds on to score but some how the keeper rose to keep the ball out.

With half time minutes away City increased their lead through Shorten who was having an impressive game, the move was started by Farman who volleyed to Bygrave who then slot the ball through to Shorten who took the player on to her right foot and hit the ball into the back of the net.

At half-time the score was 3-1.

The second half started with neither side managing to keep hold of the ball for any significant time, MK Dons had made their first substitution and were pushing forward to get themselves back in to the game.

It was the Dons substitute who had the best chance in the opening minutes of the start, when she was put through on goal, but somehow managed to put her shot wide.

Bray found herself in to the referee's book following what was deemed to be her fourth foul of the game.

With 18 minutes remaining MK Dons were awarded a free kick just outside the area, poor marking form the City players resulted in Dons being gifted with a relatively easy finish, just inside the area.

City were given a wake-up call and were determined to get themselves back in control and nearly did so as a right footed shot from Garrett beat the keeper, rolling towards the goal. The crowd watched in anticipation but it was cleared off the line.

With 15 minutes to go City continued to cause MK Dons problems and they eventually got their two-goal cushion when Garrett passed the ball through to Bray who fired the ball pass the keeper and into the net for City's fourth.

On the 76th minute Garrett was replaced by Burton to give City fresh legs out wide.

Scrappy play from both sides again meant neither side was creating any clear cut chances, and free kicks were coming thick and fast as the clock ticked on.

In the 82nd minutes the impressive Shorten played Bray in who looked odds on to score but credit must go to the MK Dons centre-half her who somehow managed to get back, only to see her challenge fall straight to Drake who took her chance and scored her second of the game.

This was Drake's last kick of the game as she was replaced with youngster Morris who came on to protect the back four.

City were caught napping immediately from the kick off when they let an MK Dons player run through with ease and as Clarke rushed out to make the save the ball came off her knees and landed straight at the feet of a Dons player who placed the ball in to the net.

Substitute Burton was caught late, resulting in the MK player being booked and the City playing having to be substituted after only just coming on.

To the delight of home crowd, City held on and booked their place in the next round, winning 5-3.

City co-manager Scott Emmerson said: “It was a great cup game, a game mixed with good football but at times a little bit scrappy too. What we can't forget is the girls haven't played since well before Christmas and to go out there and score five goals is a fantastic achievement.”

Co-manager Emma Fletcher added: “I am really proud of the girls today, it was an exciting game, their goalkeeper was in top form and I think she is very unlucky to end up on the losing side.

“We have a lot of football ahead of us in the next few weeks, Yeovil at home is going, without doubt, to be our biggest challenge of the season, and by all accounts they are a very good side. But we will be up for the challenge and wanting to keep this FA Cup run going.”