Norwich Reserves and U12 Girls reports

Norwich City Ladies Reserves were back on home soil this week, where they defeated a strong Fakenham side to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Both sides took a little while to settle, but Norwich started to press Fakenham deeper into their own half as the half went on and they nearly scored when Jenny Harrison’s goal-bound header at a corner was somehow kept out.

Both teams were playing some good passing football, with Fakenham having the best of the final 15 minutes of the half; they nearly took the lead when a deflected pass left Nic Bray in on goal, but keeper Amy Edwards made a great save to deny her a goal.

After half time, both teams continued to probe, but it was Norwich who made the breakthrough. Danni Manthorpe collected a clearance from a corner and had the skill and vision to pick out Bex Burton in space on the right of the penalty area.

Bex took a touch before letting fly with a rising drive that flew into the near top corner of the net.

Norwich began to boss the game from this point and a second goal arrived a few minutes later when Claire Rennie was on hand to stab the ball into the net from Hayley Peverley’s superb in-swinging corner.

Fakenham went to three at the back to put pressure on the Norwich defence, but this left gaps for Norwich to exploit and Nic Sheldrake combined superbly with team-mates up the left wing to set up Bridie Hipperson, but the ball bobbled, just as Bridie was about to bury the ball, and her shot went wide.

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Tired marking at a corner allowed Fakenham to pull a consolation goal back shortly before the final whistle, but Norwich ran out 2-1 winners.

The opposition voted Mel Kersey as Norwich’s Player of the Match; however, Fran Self deserves a special mention for a superb display at centre-back against the league’s top scorer.

Norwich City Girls U12, after beating Firside 4-3 (Emily 2, Shana, Rachel) at home and then quickly completing the double with a 4-1 (Rachel 2, Emily, Shana) at Firside, then visited Mulbarton Belles Under 12’s in the semi-final of the League Cup.

Mulbarton got off to a brisk start and did most of the attacking with Bryony pulling off a great save to tip a shot over the bar.

Norwich recovered and Shana latched onto a pass from Rachel but put her shot wide. Norwich were then forced to defend deeper and deeper and struggled to get out of their half.

When Norwich eventually broke Shana’s looping shot was well saved by the Mulbarton keeper. Norwich then got caught on the break and Mulbarton made the most of it to open the scoring, and soon after had a shot come off the underside of the bar,

Bryony made a great block from the follow up shot. Norwich had the final attack of the half with the Mulbarton keeper making another good save.

Norwich started the second half better than they did the first and Kate passed to Emily whose shot was pushed wide. Efforts from Rhiannon and Emily couldn’t beat the Mulbarton keeper who was having a fine game. M

ulbarton then put together a string of attacks to pin Norwich in their own half again. With three minutes remaining, Shana whipped the ball across the face of goal for Cerys to tap home.

Norwich still had time to almost snatch a winner with Emily’s shot blocked then the follow-up shot from Shana saved. Full time 1-1.

In extra time, good passing from Norwich gave Emily an early chance but her shot was well saved. Mulbarton then attacked and confusion in the Norwich goalmouth following a corner resulted in a Mulbarton goal. Norwich pushed forward in search of an equaliser but could not find the net. Emily had a shot saved and Rhiannon put one wide. Again Norwich got caught on the break and Mulbarton make the score 3-1. Norwich responded and a good move involving Chloe and Rachel allowed Shana to make the score 3-2.

Norwich could not find a third goal and bowed out of the cup after an excellent game of football.

Norwich wish Mulbarton good luck in the final.