Denham United Ladies 3 Norwich City Ladies 1: Canaries get 2018 off to losing start in league

Natasha Snelling in action against Denham Ladies. Picture: Brian Coombes

Natasha Snelling in action against Denham Ladies. Picture: Brian Coombes - Credit: Archant

Norwich City Ladies slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Denham United Ladies in their first South East Division One league fixture of 2018.

Norwich City Ladies' Fiona Coombes executes a fingertip save. Picture: Brian Coombes

Norwich City Ladies' Fiona Coombes executes a fingertip save. Picture: Brian Coombes - Credit: Archant

Upon arrival it was clear one of the biggest challenges would be the soft pitch conditions but from the off both teams coped well with the difficult playing surface.

The first 30 minutes saw Norwich edge possession over Denham with the away side content to build their attacks, unlike Denham who when in possession opted for the long ball typically lofted in behind the Norwich defence, who maintained a high line.

Just as Norwich had started to dominate possession and taking the game to Denham, the hosts broke forward and this time were rewarded when Annie Hewitt seized on a loose ball in the area and beat Fiona Coombes, the Norwich keeper. Norwich, unfazed, remained patient and stuck to their task, but at the break were 1-0 down.

For the first 15 minutes of the second half, Norwich were patient in possession and continued to build their attacks.


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However, on the hour as Denham again broke free they got behind the Norwich defence and won a fiercely disputed penalty, when keeper Coombes was adjudged to have made contact with the player before the ball. Alissa Down converted from the spot.

Denham, now with the bit between their teeth, mounted a wave of attacks on the Norwich goal and Downs scored her second on 79 minutes.

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Norwich, unperturbed, stuck to their task, but received a further setback when Eliza McDonald was forced to leave the game on 80 minutes. With all three subs made Norwich were now down to 10. A quick reorganisation to accommodate the loss allowed Norwich to press once more and Natasha Snelling seized on a great opportunity, scoring a late consolation goal on 87 minutes.

Norwich will be back in action on Sunday when they entertain AFC Wimbledon at Plantation Park.

Norwich: Coombes, Moyo, Goodfield, McDonald, Ward (Parker 69), Moerkerk, Daviss (Turner 69), Drake, Garrett (Shorten 56), Snelling, Love. Subs not used: Brogan

Denham: Perkis, Kettle, Blackburn, Jarman, Torr, Hewitt, Cox, Down, Bebbington, Cheadle, Currivan (Gibbons 90).

Referee: Elle Kaplicz

Attendance: 35

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