City Ladies leapfrog opponents after good win

Kyla Love, who netted for Norwich, pictured earlier in the season.

Kyla Love, who netted for Norwich, pictured earlier in the season. - Credit: Archant

Norwich City Ladies 2, Chichester Ladies 1

Norwich City Ladies kept the top of the South East Combination Table tight when they entertained second-placed Chichester on Sunday, and it was the Canaries that came away with three valuable points.

With Norwich sitting in 5th place before kick-off, this was a big game in the league with the winner rising higher than their opponent. City are now fourth and Chichester fifth.

Manager Emma Fletcher said: “The girls were superb in every department today, our pre-match talk focused largely on how we needed to work hard as an individuals, units and as a team and we just did that!. Chichester came to take all three points but ultimately we just wanted it more and that was clear to see all over the pitch.”

Chichester kicked the game off, which began at a quick pace with both teams looking to press early on. Chichester were passing the ball around and switching play, but City were allowing them no time on the ball and stole possession from Chichester high up the pitch.

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With only 13 minutes played, City took the lead after a good spell of possession; the ball was played in Nadine Basson’s feet. Her excellent hold up play brought captain Kate Parsons in to the game and her far post ball found Kyla Love who cut in from the left and slotted the ball away calmly to make it 1-0.

Norwich continued to press and were looking good all over the pitch, especially in centre midfield with Natalie Clark dropping to receive and switching play to the attacking fullbacks, allowing Norwich to progress their play effectively.

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From a free kick, Chichester equalised when the ball evaded everybody and dropped into the back of the net. Norwich did not deserve to be at 1-1 but this resulted in more fight and battle.

Seven minutes after Chichester’s equaliser, it was City’s turn to score from a set piece when the ball was played forward to Sasha Diston, who went to control the ball on her chest but was clattered from behind inside the penalty box, resulting in a spot kick. After lengthy treatment, Diston was replaced by Collision and Parsons dropped into defence, but not until she stepped up calmly to send the keeper the wrong way and slide the ball effortlessly into the bottom right corner to make it 2-1 to City.

There was substantial injury time to play at the end of the first half due to the injury to Diston and the other injuries that were sustained through heavy challenges from Chichester, but Norwich were standing strong and not allowing Chichester to bully them.

The second half started in the same fashion as the first half ended; with Norwich attacking and looking for a third goal, but it wasn’t to come. Chances were sparse in the second half as Norwich were looking to press Chichester and keep possession high up the pitch. The best chance of the second half fell to Gemma Farman, whose shot fell just wide of the post.

Norwich were made to work hard throughout the game and every single player had played a very big part in an all-round spirited and determined performance which had resulted in three very valuable points.

Team Lineup: Coombes, Newcombe, Diston, Gray, Cooper, Farman, Clark, Parsons, Stephens, Love, Basson, Subs: Collison, Whitehurst.

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