Empresa Norfolk Women’s League – Leaders have to settle for a point
- Credit: Archant
Premier Division leaders Harleston Magpies III had to settle for a point after a 2-2 draw at Broadland.
Laura Betts' opening goal for Harleston in the 10th minute set the tone for a titanic battle.
Betts' goal and a second for Harleston in the 30th minute from Katie Kinsella were both the results of confusion in the Broadland defence. Any possibility of a collapse went out of the window, however, as leading scorer Dani Parke responded for Broadland in the last minute of the half with a fierce shot from eight metres out.
Broadland wrestled the initiative from the visitors immediately after the restart when Parke's delicate lob at a penalty corner dropped under the crossbar for an equaliser. With Harleston looking for the decisive goal and Broadland defending in depth, numerous opportunities from the visitors were wasted by wayward shooting and that, together with vigorous defending from Broadland, meant that both sides had to settle for a draw. Magpies remain one point clear at the top, although Norwich Dragons III closed the gap with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Dereham III.
With Harleston Magpies IV losing 4-3 at home to UEA II, Norwich City II moved up to third courtesy of a comfortable 4-0 win at Carrow.
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As always City started the game with a full press but they struggled to create chances in the early stages.
City continued to pile on the pressure and Leigh-Ann Worrall tapped in the first goal of the game after good work from Hannah Jarvis.
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Serena Scott in goal wasn't troubled once before the break while City had more chances and near-misses.
After half-time it was more of the same from City, with Frankie Birkenhead, Alex Woods and Rosie Humphrey working tirelessly to get the ball up to the forwards.
This led to City's second goal which was a team effort finished off by Birkenhead.
Emily Francis then won City another short corner with great skill and Worrall got the ball under control and with a hard hit made the score 3-0.
Birkenhead completed the scoring while Rosie Humphrey was player of the match after an excellent game which so nearly produced her first league goal.
It's even tighter at the top in Division One, with just one point separating the leading four teams.
Norwich City IV, Diss and Reepham are all on 22 points, with Norwich Dragons IV just one point adrift in fourth. City took over at the top on goal difference after winning 4-0 at Carrow II with Holly Robinson scoring a hat-trick and Rowena Watts also on target.
With Diss being held to a 2-2 draw by visitors UEA III and Dragons IV losing 1-0 at home to Dereham IV, Reepham took the opportunity to make up more ground as they beat Watton II 3-1 at Taverham.
Reepham soon found their stride in difficult conditions and took a 1-0 lead into the break courtesy of a goal from Katie Lake.
The awful weather continued throughout the match and the pitch was white for most of the second half as snow and sleet were now in the mix. Lake scored Reepham's second before Watton pulled one back but the home captain had the final say as she completed her hat-trick
Harleston Magpies V scored twice in the first half through Rachel Clifford as they secured a 2-1 win at Broadland II. The hosts might have conceded again but with Izzie London recently converted to a central defender in good form, further opportunities were limited.
Broadland pulled a goal back late on through Kat Maddox, who collected the ball from a rebound off the keeper's pad, and they wasted a number of chances to equalise.