Impressive City Ladies in cup win
Norwich City Ladies face MK Dons on Sunday in the third round of the Women's FA Cup after an impressive 3-1 win over Chesham.If the Canaries get through to the next round they will have a home tie against Yeovil or Newquay.
Norwich City Ladies face MK Dons on Sunday in the third round of the Women's FA Cup after an impressive 3-1 win over Chesham.
If they get through to the next round they will have a home tie against Yeovil or Newquay.
After the Chesham game, City's co-manager Emma Fletcher said: “I am so delighted, it's always frustrating and worrying what the girls are going to play like after a long break but we couldn't have asked for any more.
“Definitely their best performance to date - they battled right from the kick-off and really tested the Chesham defence and every player played their part.”
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And co-manager Scott Emmerson added: “The girls really wanted this victory today, Chesham are a side that we knew very little about and sometimes playing teams you don't know can bring the best out of you.
“With MK Dons this Sunday we have a great opportunity to progress to the fourth round, but we have no illusion that they will just let us turn up and win.”
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Chesham United Ladies 1, Norwich City Ladies 3
After two very frustrating weeks of not kicking a football Norwich had to make the long trip to Buckinghamshire to face Chesham, writes Emma Fletcher.
With the fixture having to be reversed due to waterlogged pitch home advantage to the Canaries was lost, however it was finally game on - and with both sides aware of who they would face in the third round in the form of MK Dons it was all to play for.
With both sides having not met before it was going to be a game of 'chess' as to who would make what move first.
Both teams play at Combination level and have made a similar start to the season, having lost only one game each.
City lost the toss, in an evenly matched first ten minutes both sides had early chances, but it was City who broke the deadlock following several corners.
Chesham couldn't seem to contain the height City offered in the box and when Garrett forced a good save off the Chesham keeper it fell to Drake who turned and smashed the ball into the back of the net.
City then seemed to sit back and invite trouble and a rare mistake at the back led to a corner to Chesham.
The delivery was first-class and when it flew over Clarke and to the back post where a Chesham player was the resulting shot was on target.
Despite an appeal by the City players who felt the ball had not crossed the line and they had cleared it, the goal was given.
The remainder of the half was end to end and both sides were playing some incredible football, City probably came the closer hitting the crossbar twice.
At half-time City were urged to finish the game off, continue to press the Chesham defence who did look uncomfortable at times and put themselves in the next round.
City started the second half the stronger of the two sides and Garrett and Shorten on the flanks were causing the full-backs all sorts of problems.
With Bygrave and Farman sitting tight and breaking down any passing moves Chesham tried to string together City started to grow in confidence.
Bray and Drake up front were giving the Chesham defence no time on the ball to compose themselves and were soon rewarded when Shorten pounced on a loose ball in the area and put City 2-1 up.
With City's tails high they were determined not to let Chesham back into the game, they continued to press for a third, the defence of Smythe, Parsons, Thacker and Larkins standing strong and restricting Chesham to long-range shots.
Credit must also be given to Clarke who has grown in confidence with every game and her quick reactions were required to prevent Chesham from an equaliser.
Up the other end the Chesham right-back was having a torrid time trying to contain Shorten and it was no surprise following a cynical foul that she found herself in the referee's book.
As Chesham pushed forward for an equaliser City sealed the game on the break, Parsons drove into space from her centre-half position to slot the ball through to Shorten who timed her run to perfection, taking the ball round the advancing keeper and into the back of the empty net.