Shorten shines in Norfolk win

Norfolk Women 4, Cambridgeshire Women 1Norfolk Women entertained Cambridgeshire on a breezy night at the home of Downham Town and were soon into their stride.

Norfolk Women 4, Cambridgeshire Women 1

Norfolk Women entertained Cambridgeshire on a breezy night at the home of Downham Town and were soon into their stride.

A good run and cross by Emily Coates was scrambled clear by the visiting defence and then neat footwork by Paige Shorten almost set up a goal scoring opportunity for Nicola Bray.

The home side had just slightly the better of the opening exchanges but almost got caught on the break, when a stray pass sent Thompson away down the right, but her dangerous cross was tipped onto the bar and over by Holly Clarke.

Belle then hit a shot on the turn just over the home crossbar, before quick feet by Beth Bygrave created a chance for herself but the shot didn't match the approach play.

Bray then broke clear only to be stopped by a good challenge and then good work by Jodie Drake almost created an opening but the ball took a wicked bounce to deny the chance of a shot on goal.

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From a corner on the left, a wicked ball from Bygrave found the head of Coates who glanced a header just wide, then a good shot by Shorten was well saved by keeper Crook, who then saved Jemma Smythe's header from the resultant corner.

Cambridgeshire then broke upfield but Smythe got back to produce a last-ditch clearance as Currie bore down on the home goal.

Visiting goalkeeper Crook produced a brave block after fumbling a corner and required lengthy treatment before being able to resume.

Stand in manager Emma Fletcher made two changes at half-time, bringing on Shelly Woods and Chelsea Garrett for Drake and Coates. After a scrappy start to the half, the game burst into life on 55 minutes when a mazy run by Shorten ended with her being fouled 20 yards out. She took the free kick herself and found the bottom corner of the net via the post to put Norfolk one up.

Bray was playing well for Norfolk and set up a chance for Shorten who lost control before she could get in a shot. There was another long delay as Crook went down again and the visiting goalkeeper was eventually replaced.

Garrett almost capitalised on a loose ball but her attempt on goal was deflected wide for a corner from which Smythe crashed a header off the underside of the crossbar.

Cambridgeshire were not to be written off though and came close to levelling the scores when Richardson flashed a cross along the Norfolk six yard area with nobody able to get the final touch.

Despite keeping the visitors pinned back for most of the time, Norfolk were finding it hard to create many clear cut chances, but on seventy five minutes a free kick on the right by Shorten eluded everybody except Woods at the far post, and she scored comfortably.

Two minutes later it was three, when Shorten robbed a visiting defender of the ball and strode ten yards before cracking home a great effort from the edge of the box.

It was all Norfolk now and in the 80th minute Bray got the goal her hard-working performance had deserved, forcing the ball home after a great cross from Woods.

Two minutes from time Shorten almost completed her hat-trick, but her 30-yard free-kick came back off the underside of the crossbar, much to her annoyance. With the game deep into stoppage time, Currie scored a consolation goal for Cambridgeshire.

The Norfolk Representative Committee named Paige Shorten as their Player of the Match.

The Women's next game is against Essex FA on Tuesday November 17, kick-off 7.45pm at Stanway Rovers.