Norwich City Ladies leapfrog into second
- Credit: Archant
Norwich City Ladies 4, Enfield 1
Norwich City Ladies rose to second place in the SE Combination title with a win over fifth placed Enfield on Sunday.
With a slight delay to the start of 2013 due to last week’s opposition being involved in the FA Cup, Norwich were looking to start their new year in style by securing all three points and - much delight to the coaches, players and spectators - they did just that by leapfrogging Chichester.
City are now two points clear of Chichester but leaders Chesham are five ahead at the top.
Norwich manager Emma Fletcher said: “The girls impressed me today, Enfield are an excellent side and very hard to break down, our girls worked hard all over the park and for each other and deserved all three points. There was one or two decisions that went our way today and I’ll take that, but you can’t take away just how well we played.”
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Having not played a game since the 16th December, it was important that the Ladies started strongly and straight from kick off, Norwich looked impressive, making a string of successive passes and not allowing Enfield to touch the ball.
With captain Kate Parsons playing in a more advanced role and Gemma Farman and Hayley Collison close to pick up the loose balls, Norwich continued to make an impact on the game from the start, however the first real chance of the game fell to Enfield when they broke free with a counter attack.
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With the striker one on one with Fiona Coombes in the City goal Enfield looked odds on to open up the scoring but Coombes was in no mood to concede and dived to her left to smartly save.
This seemed to inspire City on and on the 20th minute, Kate Parsons played a diagonal ball which the Enfield centre-half struggled to deal with and Anna Larkins was quick to react and calmly finished first time to put Norwich 1-0 up.
Finding themselves 1-0 up City showed the first sign of nerves and their play became scrappier and less in decisive and it wasn’t long before Enfield capitalised on this and they deservedly equalised on 28 minutes, a long-range effort from the flank looped high and long, ending up in the back of the City net to make the score 1-1.
Norwich reacted well and started to pass and move again, switching the play and bringing wide players into the game. With only six minutes to half time, Nadine Basson’s movement was - much to the despair of the opposition - judged by the assistant referee to be inch perfect and she crossed an excellent ball across the goal to the impressive Kyla Love to put City 2-1 up and take them in to half time.
Half time score Norwich City 2, Enfield Town 1.
After a very encouraging first-half performance, Norwich were aware that with their experience Enfield would come back at them in the second half and needed to ensure they started the half in a similar vein to the first half. City came close on several occasions, with probably their best effort falling to Kyla Love who somehow fired the ball up over the Enfield bar when looking odds on to score.
With Enfield having to deal with the pressure it wasn’t long before City took a chance and extended their lead, albeit it having to come from a free kick just outside the Enfield area following a foul on Kate Parsons.
The experienced Gemma Farman stepped up and sent the ball with venom over the wall and in to the top right-hand corner, giving the Enfield keeper no chance.
Enfield, pushing for a goal to get them back in to the game decided to change their formation, which in-turn allowed City more possession and their fourth soon followed, when in the 64th minute from a corner that wasn’t cleared and as it fell to Nadine Basson she sent the ball goalwards and much to Enfield’s despair her shot was deflected up and over by one of their defenders, pretty much summing up their day.
To their credit, Enfield never gave up and Coombes in goal had to be alert on several occasions in the half to deny them any chance of getting back in to the game.
The final whistle went and City had secured their 1st three points of 2013, which saw them leap frog Chichester in to second place.
City’s next game is away to Aylsham on the 20th January in the Norfolk Women’s Cup, kick off 13:30.
Team: Combes, Newcoombe, Diston, Gray (Whitehurst), Cooper, Farman (Clark), Collison, Parsons, Larkins, Love, Basson (Stephens).