City Ladies shoot up table
NORWICH City Ladies have shot up the SE Combination table to third this week and are gunning for a top-two finish.After two wins in the space of four days they rose three places and are now seven points behind second-placed Enfield but with five games in hand.
NORWICH City Ladies have shot up the SE Combination table to third this week and are gunning for a top-two finish.
After two wins in the space of four days they rose three places and are now seven points behind second-placed Enfield but with five games in hand.
The bad weather and excellent runs in cup competitions had meant that City, before last weekend, had not played a league game since October and will therefore be playing catch-up for the rest of the season.
On Sunday they returned from the long journey to Lewes with a 1-0 win, shrugging off the absence of six regular team members, and then on Wednesday they visited Cambridge and returned 2-0 victors.
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Joint manager Emma Fletcher said after the Cambridge game: 'I think what the last few days has demonstrated to us is just how important the depth and size of squad is at present.
'Every player will play their part in the run-in towards the end of the season whether they are in the starting line up or start from the bench."
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"This result has taken us up to third in the league and hopefully will send out a message to the rest of the league that we are a serious threat and have every opportunity to finish in the top two. It really is in our hands to accomplish and we have games in hand to do it."
Against Cambridge, City welcomed back four players to the side following injuries and illness, but lost a further five from Sunday's squad so it was a different-looking side than the one that faced Lewes.
Cambridge were determined not to make it easy for the City girls, lining up with a rather defensive 4-5-1 formation.
Although City dominated the first half in terms of possesion they nearly found themselves a goal down when a rare mistake by the City defence let Cambridge's striker clear on goal but, luckily for Norwich, she shot wide.
In the second half City started to play good passing football and a good interception in the midfield resulted in Nic Bray being played in to score with a well-taken left-footed volley which looped into the net over the Cambridge keeper.
City's second goal came towards the end of the game when a free kick was whipped in by Paige Shorten and met at the back post by Kate Parson's head to all but finish and chances of Cambridge's hopes of getting back in to the game.
Fletcher said after the game: 'We had a lot of tired legs out there and whilst the game at times was scrappy the girls must be praised
for digging deep and grinding a result out.'
On Sunday at Lewes, the game's only goal was scored by Chelsea Garrett, set up by Connie Bishop, who was making her first-team debut. Bishop is part of this season's U16 Norwich City Girls' Centre of Excellence while another girl from the centre, Jordan Arnoup, also came on to make her debut just after half-time.
On Sunday, Norwich face MK Dons for the third time this season, for a place in the League Cup final (ko 2pm at Plantation Park, Blofield).