Spurs knock Canaries out of cup

Tottenham Ladies 2, Norwich City Ladies 1Norwich City ladies suffered their first defeat of the season, albeit coming in the SE Combination League Cup rather than the league.

Tottenham Ladies 2, Norwich City Ladies 1

Norwich City ladies suffered their first defeat of the season, albeit coming in the SE Combination League Cup rather than the league.

Having already faced Tottenham in the opening game of the season City knew this was going to be a tough battle against a side who are tipped to challenge for the league title.

As in previous weeks changes were made largely due to unavailability through other commitments and injury.

This, however, gave the City management team a chance to give different players a good run out, in preparation for the next few games.

The game at times was a scrappy affair and with both teams struggling to get a grip it was no surprise that the score at half time was 0-0.

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In the second half Spurs started to create one or two clear-cut opportunities, but thankfully for Norwich last-ditch tackling and the crossbar held the Spurs strikers at bay!

That was until the tricky no 8 drove into the norwich half and outpacing the defence calmly slotted the ball past the helpless Holly Clarke in goal to go 1-0 up.

City, to their credit, were not going to give up there cup without a fight. And with in introduction of Chelsea Garrett they started to show signs of coming back into the game.

Indeed Garrett played her part in the equaliser, winning the ball just inside the Spurs half and playing a well-timed cross-field pass to Jodie Drake on the right.

Drake then made a determined run down the right and sent over a cross/shot that flew over the keeper into the back of the net. Thoroughly deserved.

This seemed to spur City on as they went searching for a winner, and they felt there should have been a penalty when Sophie Gillett weaved her way through into the area where she looked to have been fouled.

With extra time looming both sides pushed for a winner but it was not to be.

With half an hour of extra time to play, City were just not getting the rub of the green and deep into the second period of extra time Paige Shorten found herself in the box and with the keeper to beat she struck a fierce shot that somehow the keeper managed to keep out with an incredible save.

With less than eight minutes remaining Spurs carved the winner and from 25 yards out hit a fierce shot, dipping just under the City crossbar and over a helpless Clarke in goal.

City gave everything in the last few minutes and despite their valiant attempt just couldn't get the equaliser to take the game to penalties.

Whilst City will be disappointed they have been knocked out of the League Cup in the first round they faced a team that will, without a doubt, be one of the favourites to reach the final.

Joint manager Emma Fletcher said: “Sometimes you don't just get the rub of the green that you deserve.

“This was always going to be tie that would go all the way and fair play to Spurs they caused us problems and they defended really well.

“Our girls gave everything today and you could tell this cup means a lot to them.

"It's all about us picking ourselves up and heading to Ipswich on Wednesday and back into league action. We still have the County Cup and FA Cup to compete for which mean a lot to the girls and the club."

Cambridge Rangers 1, Norwich City Ladies Reserves 7

Meanwhile, Norwich City Ladies Reserves travelled to Cambridge Rangers this week for their first away League fixture of the season and returned with all three points.

Norwich started brightly and, from an early corner, 'Flip' Carmen stabbed the ball home to give them the lead. Carmen scored an almost identical goal a few minutes later to take the score to 2-0.

With Gemma Farmen and Shannon Kelly controlling the centre of midfield, Norwich increased their lead when Carmen side-footed home, from a difficult angle, for her hat-trick.

With their defence looking untroubled, Norwich continued to create chances and Bridie Hipperson made it 4-0 with an excellent long-range shot that flew in over the Cambridge keeper. The same player increased the score just before half-time, bundling the ball into the net from a defence-splitting pass.

After the interval, Norwich continued to play good football, but a lack of concentration at the back allowed Cambridge to pull a goal back. However, Hipperson provided a positive response when she picked up a pass 30 yards out and hit a superb shot that dipped in under the bar.

Hipperson then tapped in her fourth of the afternoon, following great work by Nic Sheldrake on the right wing; this made the final score 7-1.

Cambridge voted Flip Carmen as the Norwich 'Player of the Match'; a special mention must also go to Jenny Harrison, who had a very good debut on her introduction to senior football.