Chesham Ladies 6, Norwich City Ladies 1: Leaders too hot for Canaries
Unbeaten league leaders Chesham gave Norwich City a painful finale to 2012.
The third-placed Canaries were looking to close the five-point gap. But it was always going to be a tough ask without Kyla Love and Gabrielle Whitehurst – although Jo Perry was included in the senior squad for the first time this season.
Chesham started as brightly, but Norwich contained them until the 26th minute, when they conceded two goals in quick succession, the second a cruelly deflected long-range shot.
Fve minutes before the interval Chesham made it 3-0, but Norwich reorganised at half time and made an instant impact on the restart. High pressure from Nadine Basson, Vicki Stephens and the midfield enabled Norwich to gain possession high up the pitch and Sasha Diston finished to reduce the deficit to two goals.
Norwich continued to press and were making Chesham work hard. The midfield duo of Gemma Farman and Hayley Collison protected the defence and initiated attack with a wide range of passing while Anna Larkins and Natalie Clark worked hard, tucking in to support when defending and attacking with pace and purpose.
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It was against the second half run of play when a Chesham counter attack made the score 4-1. And the followed after what appeared to be a bad tackle on Hayley Collison on the edge of the Norwich penalty area went unpunished.
With the game almost up, the assistant referee flagged for a penalty to Chesham in the 91st minute for what appeared to be no more than a coming together of two players. He judged Kate Parsons to have fouled the home striker, who picked herself up to make it 6-1.
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• Norwich City: Coombes, Newcombe, Parsons, Diston, Cooper, Farman, Collison, Clark, Larkins, Stephens, Basson. Subs: Perry, Fletcher, Gray