Norfolk hit three past Suffolk
Norfolk Ladies 3, Suffolk Ladies 0This East Anglian Women's Counties competition game saw Norfolk get the upper hand for a crucial win.They must now wait to see how Essex fare in their final game following their defeat to Hertfordshire on Wednesday night but this result ensures at least the runners-up spot and a great end to another fine season.
Norfolk Ladies 3, Suffolk Ladies 0
This East Anglian Women's Counties competition game saw Norfolk get the upper hand for a crucial win.
They must now wait to see how Essex fare in their final game following their defeat to Hertfordshire on Wednesday night but this result ensures at least the runners-up spot and a great end to another fine season.
Just as in their last outing, Norfolk faced playing again on a wet, miserable evening - this time at Diss Town FC.
Norfolk went into the game knowing that a win against their local rivals was vital to keep their hopes of retaining the title alive.
After the game survived two pitch inspections, Norfolk started on the front foot and Nic Bray's determined effort in the second minute gained the home side a corner which eventually fell to Beth Bygrave whose shot failed to trouble Bird in the Suffolk goal.
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Good link-up play between Parnell and Everett almost saw the visitors take the lead but Everett's shot flew just wide.
Bray then burst clear for Norfolk, but over-ran the ball and Bird collected easily.
Suffolk were playing some neat football in the middle of the park, but out of nothing the home side took the lead.
Paige Shorten charged down a clearance from the Suffolk defence and raced through to produce a classy finish past Bird.
The home side then produced a period of domination that saw a good effort from Jodie Drake well saved and a corner from Shorten which caused panic in the area, but when the ball landed at the feet of Jemma Smythe, she blasted wide from 12 yards.
As Norfolk pushed forward again, a superb cross-field pass by Laura Thacker found Shorten, whose cross was met first time by Bray who was unlucky to see her shot come back off the crossbar.
Suffolk though were still looking to attack at every opportunity and only a timely intervention by Kate Parsons stopped Hawkins in her tracks.
As the interval approached Holly Clarke was called into action as she did very well to push a free kick by Bitten over the crossbar and it proved to be a vital stop, as on the stroke of half time Shorten scored her second goal when her 25-yard free-kick found the roof of the net.
Norfolk started the second half in sharp form and Shorten was just wide with a long-range effort.
Bray almost capitalised on hesitation in the visitors' defence but Taylor was able to scramble the ball clear.
Suffolk replied and good skill by Howlett produced space for a cross which sailed harmlessly wide.
Bitten then struck a good free-kick just over, but such was the dominance of the Norfolk defence
Suffolk were being restricted to long range efforts that failed to test Clarke. There was a sickening clash of heads between Parsons and Smythe as they went for the same ball, but thankfully both were able to resume after treatment.
Bray had put in a tremendous amount of hard work for Norfolk and was almost rewarded with a goal but her shot was deflected agonisingly wide, with the keeper beaten.
Norfolk finally killed the game off on seventy seven minutes. Shorten cut in from the left and played a great diagonal pass to substitute Chelsea Garrett who finished in style.
The game was now one-way traffic and Danielle Manthorpe was introduced for her first appearance in county colours.
Immediately she linked up well with fellow substitute Bex Burton but no-one was able to get a touch on the latter's cross as it flashed across the six-yard box.
With Garrett enjoying plenty of space down the right, Norfolk were still looking for more goals and Shorten almost completed a deserved hat-trick, but after beating two players inside the area her right-foot shot cannoned off the underside of the bar and was booted to safety.
As the game drew to a close, a 20-yard effort from Bygrave just cleared the crossbar.
The Representative Committee of the Norfolk FA selected Paige Shorten as their Player of the Match