Fab four seals win for Canaries
Luton Town Ladies 0, Norwich City Ladies 4After two draws and a win, Norwich City Ladies travelled to early league leaders Luton Town - and returned with a great victory.
Luton Town Ladies 0, Norwich City Ladies 4
After two draws and a win, Norwich City Ladies travelled to early league leaders Luton Town - and returned with a great victory.
Joint manager Emma Fletcher said: “We are so proud of the girls today, this isn't an easy place to come to. Luton have had a great start and you can see why as they are a team that play good football mixed with physical play. But to be fair, this league can be like that and if you want to win games then some times you have to fight tooth and nail."
“We have picked up a few defensive injuries today and we will just have to see how those players come through during the week. But they won't want to miss the chance to play against Spurs in an opportunity to defend their League Cup title."
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The match at Luton was the start of five tough away games over the next four weeks and it turned out to be a very bruising encounter for the young Canaries side.
It wasn't just about getting three points on the board it was also about finishing the game with as few injuries as possible.
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City's first blow came midway through the first half when Adele Mccrory had to be replaced by Kate Parsons after a bruising challenge on the full-back.
This seemed to spur the side on however and a quick re-shuffle in shape across the middle played a major part in the opening City goal.
A great kick from Holly Clarke in goal fell to Paige Shorten who took one touch and played a cross-field ball to Kirstie Kindred who ran to the byline and unselfishly played the ball across to Sophie Gillett who made no mistake and hit the ball into the back of the net.
City then faced a spell of pressure and during this spell suffered their second injury blow when Laura Thacker landed awkwardly after yet another full-blooded challenge.
Whilst Thacker battled till half-time she did not appear after the break and had to be replaced by Jordan Arnoup whose preferred position is midfield.
City were holding firm, though the hosts came close, hitting the crossbar on two occasions.
City's second goal was a great example of counter attacking. The ball was cleared following a Luton corner to Kindred who looked up and played an inch-perfect pass into Chelsea Garrett's path as she ran from inside City's half followed closely by the Luton captain.
As the keeper came out Garrett coolly got the ball past her and into the Luton net. Despite appeals from the Luton players for offside and following a booking for the Luton number six for dissent, the goal stood.
Shorten then got her name on the score sheet and in some style, cutting in from the left and firing a curling strike on her right foot over the impressive Luton keeper.
Luton continued to push and were in no mood to give up, piling constant pressure on City's makeshift defence.
Once again City punished them, this time Jemma Smythe cleared to Gillett who ran with the ball and played an exquisite pass with the outside of her foot to Garrett.
With just the keeper to beat, she calmly played the ball round her for Garrett's second and City's fourth.
With 25 minutes remaining and with all three points heading back to Norfolk it was all about the city side holding firm and once again it was made even harder when a very late challenge on Anna Larkins saw her having to be replaced by Bex Burton, and midfield/forward Kindred slotting into the full-back position.
City were relieved to hear the final whistle go and with a tough league cup game against Spurs next weekend will be hoping their injuries aren't too severe.