Norwich City Ladies close gap on leaders

Norwich City Ladies 3, Luton Town Ladies 0

Norwich City Ladies closed the gap on top of the table Chesham United to just two points following a 3-0 win over Luton Town.

Looking for a sixth win of the season and a second consecutive clean sheet, City named an unchanged side from last weeks 2-0 win at Enfield and made a confident start to the game, imposing themselves on the visitors.

And it only took six minutes for the pressure to count as Nadine Basson flicked the ball on for the supporting Kyla Love who finished well across the ‘keeper to make it 1-0. Norwich continued to press but the second goal eluded them.

After going behind Luton settled as they looked for a response and the game became more even. City’s cause wasn’t helped as they were forced into an early substitution on 23 minutes when defender Leah Newcombe came off worst in a challenge. She was replaced by Whitehurst, resulting in a reshuffle in the Norwich defence with Naomi Cooper coming across to left-back and Whitehurst slotting into right-back.

Further chances fell to Love and Kate Parsons during the remainder of the first half but neither were able to increase the goal tally.

Half time: Norwich City Ladies 1, Luton Town Ladies 0

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Luton emerged after the break the more dominant aide but with Norwich defending well and Fiona Coombes doing well in goal, it kept the away side at arms reach.

With the scoreline still 1-0 and looking to double their advantage, City made a positive change by bringing on Vicki Stephens as a second striker, replacing Natalie Clark. This change almost paid off immediately with Stephens playing in Basson but the Luton keeper closed her down quickly to smother the ball.

City doubled their lead with just 20 minutes left on the clock through Love, who beat the full back before curling the ball into the far corner from thirty yards to make it two and put City in command.

Luton were starting to become frustrated with late challenges on Anna Larkins and Basson, forcing the game to be temporarily stopped for treatment.

Luton were camped in their half, but with Norwich dominating possession Luton looked their most dangerous on the counter attack, but Coombes and her defence dealt with everything Luton threw at them very well.

With only 12 minutes remaining, City’s top goalscorer Basson took her tally for the season to nine when good work from Cooper down the right led to a one-on-one for Basson who finished well to make it 3-0 and confirm a well deserved three points for City.

Team - Norwich City Ladies: Coombes, Newcoombe (Whitehurst, 23), Diston, Parsons, Cooper, Farman, Clark (Stevens, 60), Collison, Love (6, 70 mins), Larkins, Basson (78 mins).