Norwich win cup but Hethersett battle well

Norwich City Ladies 2, Hethersett Ladies 1

Hayley Peverley’s second half winner clinched the Norfolk Women’s Cup for Norwich City Ladies on Sunday after a hard-fought final against Hethersett Athletic.

Watched by a crowd of 222 at Dereham’s Aldiss Park, City had taken an early lead through Kirstie Kindred, and although Athletic levelled after the break, the Canaries were not to be denied.

Hethersett enjoyed a couple of early chances but were stunned by a fifth minute goal for City, as Kindred collected the ball just inside the Hethersett area and produced an accurate finish.

Hethersett did not let the setback deter them as they acquitted themselves well against a Norwich team who play a division above their Eastern Region Women’s League opponents.

Despite all their endeavour they could have fallen further behind, when, from a Norwich corner, Danielle Manthorpe had a header cleared off the line by Shannon Kelly.

Grace Birchall and Luci Middleton had chances to pull Hethersett level, but both went begging.

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Paige Shorten produced an excellent centre that Norwich’s Bex Burton volleyed just over and shortly after Shorten fired in a 30-yarder, which brought a flying save from Hethersett keeper Sophie Lubbock.

Hethersett started the second half with the same enthusiasm that they displayed in the first 45 minutes and got their just rewards nine minutes in. Emma Mulley picked the ball up in midfield and scored from fully 35 yards as she planted the ball into the top right hand corner.

The Hethersett joy was shortlived however, as Norwich responded with the winning goal on 59 minutes.

The ball was worked to the edge of the area where Peverley gained possession and turned a defender to great effect and volleyed into the net.

Although her team were being forced back, Hethersett’s Lauren Bailey produced an audacious shot from the halfway line that Clarke saved.

As Norwich started to create chances of their own Jenny Harrison hit a post with a close range effort and Bridie Hipperson screwed a shot just wide. Lubbock pulled off another fine save after Shorten cut in from the left and produced a stinging shot.

Hethersett centre-half Jenna Cannell was named player of the match.

Norwich City Ladies: Clarke, Arnoup, Hipperson, Manthorpe, Larkins, Thacker, Farman (Capt), Kindred, Garrett, Burton, Shorten. Subs: Peverly, Branch, Parsons, Harrison.

Hethersett Athletic: S Lubbock, Bailey, Cannell, V Lubbock, Kelly, Birchall, Ellis (Capt), Swann, Todd, Mulley, Middleton. Subs: Batch, Cletheroe, Swann, Brister, Waters.

Referee: Jeffery Nurse