Battling Norwich City Ladies run out of luck in AFC Wimbledon Women’s Premier League clash

Chelsea Garrett, front, in action for Norwich City Ladies. Picture: SARAH JAMES

Chelsea Garrett, front, in action for Norwich City Ladies. Picture: SARAH JAMES - Credit: Archant

A depleted Norwich City Ladies team lost a keenly-fought battle at AFC Wimbledon in Women's Premier League South East Division One.

The game started at pace, with early exchanges at both ends of the pitch. Wimbledon came close to scoring after just eight minutes, but were denied by a diving save across the goal by City keeper Fiona Coombes.

Soon after, Ellen Swift went close for Norwich with a long-distance attempt as she saw Shanell Salgado off her line, but the keeper just managed to reach the ball.

It was then Coombes' turn as she made an excellent save, tipping the ball over the bar and denying a certain goal.

But she was unable to prevent the hosts going ahead on 27 minutes when Jess Trimnell beat her from a set-piece.

Spells of pressure from both sides followed, with Norwich captain Kate Parsons seizing a chance from a well-worked exchange with Natasha Snelling, but the ball went wide of the far post.

Both teams were quick out of the blocks for the second half, but it was Wimbledon who got on the scoresheet after 52 minutes when they netted a scrappy goal.

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And just nine minutes later they effectively sealed victory, again from a set-piece.

Just past the hour mark both teams made changes, with Norwich's Teo Ilie, in her first senior game, replaced by Ellie Bird, Norwich's second keeper. This substitution saw Coombes switching roles, from keeper to outfield player.

With seven minutes remaining, Bird pulled off a diving save, tipping the ball round her far post and denying Wimbledon a fourth goal.

Norwich continued to battle to the end and Chelsea Garrett was unlucky not to score on two occasions – the first effort was cleared off the line, with Salgado stranded, while the second, on 90 minutes, saw Salgado finally beaten, only for the ball to hit the bar.

Norwich's next game is an FA Women's Premier Cup fixture at Gillingham on Sunday. The match is at Chatham Town and kicks-off at 2pm.

Lowestoft Ladies were 3-0 home winners over Enfield Town on Sunday – they play AFC Wimbledon at home on Sunday (2pm)

AFC Wimbledon: Salgado, Wylie (Poole, 62), Houghton-North (Billingham, 73), Bock, Klatt, O'Halloran, Trimnell, Searle, Whelan, Keady (Low, 78), Bisson. Subs not used: Chase, Sargent

Norwich: Coombes, Radley, Faux, Parsons, Wiseman, Osborne, Swift, Snelling, Garrett, Gower, Ilie (Bird, 62).

Referee: Alexandra Lupano

Attendance: 35

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