LADIES 5TH XI - 25/02/2017 VS EVERGREENS 2 (H)
TEAM: Ladies 5th XI
FIXTURE: Ladies 5th XI VS 25/02/2017
HEADLINE: Fighting till the end!
LEAGUE: NORFOLK LEAGUE DIVISION 2
LEAGUE SPONSORS: EMPRESA LIMITED
REPORT:Firstly, welcome back to Karen. This was her first match in 12 week after a nasty finger injury but as expected she played as though she hadn't even been away! Also, thank you to Fran and Jane from the 6s who both worked tirelessly and fitted right in.
With a few players in new positions this week it took City a while to settle into the game and find their feet. During the first half City had the majority of the possession and were unlucky not to convert one of their many short corners. Credit goes to the Evergreens keeper who made numerous saves which kept her team in the game. Disappointingly for City there was no score at half time.
After the break City frustrated the opposition and put a lot of pressure on one of their key players by marking her out of the game. Everything seemed to be going in City’s favour until a break from Evergreens down the right resulted in their pass across D being converted. 1 – 0 to Evergreens. City continued to pile on the pressure for the remaining 20 minutes but nothing seemed to be working. Evergreens were happy to see the time tick by and with one minute remaining it seemed like it might all be over. However, with the last play in normal time City managed to win a short corner – this was their chance! The pressure was immense and all the City players were surrounding the D. The strike at the keeper was again saved and a defender cleared the ball. It looked like it was all over – there were even handshakes between players! – but the clearance was raised and another short corner was awarded. Again City lined up. Kitty injected, Ali received the ball and with a straight strike from the top of the D she put it right through the keeper’s legs! City celebrated! Maybe slightly too much for a 1-1 draw … A good but very stressful game!
LADIES DEVELOPMENT XI - 25/02/2017 VS HARLESTON MAGPIES (A)
TEAM: Ladies Development XI
FIXTURE: Ladies Development XI VS 25/02/2017
HEADLINE: Top of the Table Clash Frustration
LEAGUE: NORFOLK DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
LEAGUE SPONSORS: EMPRESA LIMITED
RESULT: 1 : 1
Frustration - “the feeling of being annoyed as a result of being unable to achieve something”
Assembling early on a Saturday morning in Suffolk, the team faced another top of the table clash against Magpies. Fielding a strong team, hopes were high that Norwich could continue their long running winning streak meaning the race for the title would then be in their own hands.
Unfortunately, in what seems to have become an unwelcome regular feature, Norwich were sluggish from the off. Bunching together, fluidity was absent with wide players being sucked into an increasingly congested midfield. Consequently, chances were few and far between for either side, although the solid defence of Lottie; Sabina; and Lucy never looking seriously threatened. As the quarter progressed however, Norwich became increasingly dominant. The left flank was beginning to generate some opportunities with excellent play from both Frances Underhill and Frances Bryne beginning to look promising, as did the solitary attack on the right created by Maddie and Lucy Wimhurst. Ultimately, however, the quarter ended with not a single shot on either goal.
In an effort to maximize the opportunities for all players, Norwich made four substitutions for the second quarter. Unfortunately, with hindsight, this unsettled the team and any momentum engendered by the end of the first quarter was lost. Whilst the unchanged defence remained strong, it took time for the new players to find their feet in the game but again, Norwich slowly began to build momentum. Kate and Matilda remained resolute in midfield and strong pushes into the final third from Abi; Niamh and Evie resulted in two, ultimately unconverted penalty corners. Other attacks were neutralized by the strong Magpies lady player who marshalled their back four and the half ended with a near miss at the far post for Magpies, one of their few forays close to the posts. A very even half and the match hung in the balance.
Norwich began the second half strongly despite an enforced changed that saw Lottie swapping positions with Kate meaning she was playing in an unfamiliar midfield role. Her strong strikes helped Frances Underhill, and then Effie, to generate some strong left wing attacks with Abi and Frances Bryne looking threatening at the top of the D. Niamh also created chances on the right and this led to a penalty corner which Matilda injected strongly allowing Frances Bryne to release a pile driver shot from the top of the D into the bottom left corner. Nothing less than Norwich deserved and relief all round. However, Magpies were never out of the game and always looked threatening, beginning to build pressure for the remainder of the quarter as Norwich defended deep in their final third. Norwich found it increasingly difficult to break out of their half but a sharp save by Daisy to her left meant the quarter ended with Norwich maintaining their lead.
In the final quarter the team were encouraged to pressure Magpies further up the pitch. This relieved the defensive pressure and further chances were created by both flanks and some good runs by Matilda. Norwich retained the majority of the possession in the Magpies half but the chances were never clear cut and it looked like the quarter would remain goalless until, in the final minute, a long pass from defence caught Norwich out. Daisy did well to repel the initial approach and shots but eventually the attacker moved around her and slotted home. Hugely disappointing and frustrating. Final result 1:1.
Post-match, although the team felt like they had lost, a reality check is needed. With five games to go, only 70% of the season has been played. The chance of clinching the title remains, particularly with the improving Dragons and Dereham teams still likely to play a crucial part. Chins up girls: be frustrated and disappointed but ultimately, not distracted. We are all still learning; everything is still to play for; and you all have a role to fulfil. Next time I will also remember to wear my lucky socks!