Empresa Norfolk Women’s League: Broadland’s title hopes suffer hammer blow after UEA defeat
- Credit: Archant
Broadland's pursuit of Premier Division leaders Dereham II came to a shuddering halt against UEA's second string.
The second-placed visitors were outplayed in the first half by a faster, fitter and more determined side. Broadland, under continuous pressure, repelled all that the UEA threw at them and only conceded in the 25th minute when Rachel Miller latched on to a fine through ball and advanced into the circle to fire in an unstoppable shot by the near post.
Broadland, unsettled by this set-back, were at sixes and sevens two minutes later, when a cross from the right came off a defender's stick and fell conveniently for Elleni Spehienu who tapped the ball home to double the UEA lead.
The away side stepped up several gears in the second half and forced the students on the defensive and gained a number of penalty corners, one of which was converted by Becky Savory. But late pressure to find an equaliser failed to pay off with the hosts' star player Fiona Bennell producing some desperate stops and clearances late on.
Table-topping Dereham, who are six points clear having played a game less, won 3-2 at Norwich City III. Six points behind Broadland in third are Harleston Magpies III. They won 4-0 at bottom side Thetford, despite the best efforts of player of the match Sam Harvey.
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Second-from-last Diss remain four points from safety after coming out on the wrong side of an eight-goal thriller at home to mid-table Norwich Dragons III. Player of the match Debs Smith and Laura Tompson-Wright struck for the away side to help make the score 2-2 at the break.
Goals from Caroline Wolfe, Sue Cross and Smith wrapped up the Dragons' eventual 5-3 triumph.
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Elsewhere in the top-flight Carrow, just above the drop zone, lost 2-0 at Harleston Magpies IV while Dereham III annihilated Loddon 8-2 to move up from fifth to fourth.
In the Division One title race, Lowestoft Railway kept the pressure up on Evergreens – who edged Dereham IV 2-0 – by breezing to a 4-0 away win at Norwich Dragons IV. Hat-trick hero Jess Newnham and Jo Pallant got on the scoresheet in their side's eighth win on the bounce, which keeps them within four points of the Greens.
Alice Buxton was the match-winner as Reepham, now third, squeezed out Broadland II 1-0. First-half goals from mother and daughter duo Trish and Ellie Hagan enabled Carrow II to win 2-1 at Harleston Magpies VI. Watton II triumphed 3-2 at the home of their North Norfolk counterparts.
In Division Two, Maria Crompton's first strike was nothing more than a consolation for a depleted Evergreens II as they were trounced 7-1 at Dereham V. Breckland lost 3-0 at UEA III and Norwich City IV thumped Pelicans III 6-0.
Norwich Dragons V went down to a 1-0 defeat against Beccles despite putting on an excellent performance.
After Beccles took the lead in the first half, Dragons rallied in the second period with Ellie James at the heart of their good play. Chiara Bond always made her presence known tackling back and driving forward all in one swift action.
Despite their good play, Dragons couldn't find a way through, going down to a 1-0 defeat.
Norwich Dragons VII didn't let drizzle dampen their spirits as they beat Carrow III 2-1 at home in Division Three. Debutant Persy Magdalene and and Katrina Speirs did the business in front of goal.
Unbeaten leaders Yarmouth II defeated Harleston Magpies VII 3-0 while Dragons VI went clear in second by beating Loddon II 4-0.
Third and fourth-placed Hales Hornets and Lowestoft Railway II slightly lost ground on the top two with a 1-1 draw.