Two goals from Cameron Cooke ensure top flight safety for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 19:41 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 19:41 19 March 2019
Norwich City made absolutely sure of retaining their East League top flight status after drawing 2-2 with visitors Chelmsford.
City opened the scoring midway through the first half after a great passing move was finished off smartly by Cameron Cooke.
They lost the lead before the break to a short goal corner but restored it in the second half when Cooke struck again after a great solo run.
The visitors equalised with a penalty flick which Alistair Cooke got a pad to and that’s how it stayed, with City getting the point they needed to confirm they wouldn’t be finishing bottom.
Harleston Magpies won 5-3 at Saffron Walden to secure second place behind Wapping, who clinched the title by beating West Herts 4-2.
James Gray converted a Tom Ridley pass to open the scoring, only for the hosts to equalise against the run of play, but Magpies were ahead at the break courtesy of a Tom Dunnett penalty corner strike.
The visitors upped their levels in the second work and goals from Ridley, Ollie Whiteman and Andrew Bedwell made it 5-1 before Saffron Walden pulled a couple back near the end.
Dereham won an amazing match in Premier B, edging home 6-5 at Spalding to retain hopes of finishing third.
There was no joy for Division 1 bottom two Harleston Magpies II and Norwich City II, who were beaten 3-1 at Sudbury and 4-3 at Crostyx respectively. Jack Luther (2) and Ben Plumb scored for City, who were 3-2 ahead at the interval.
In Division 2NE goals from Rupert Snelling and Will Main were not enough as Norwich Dragons were beaten 4-2 at home by Pelicans. Dereham II beat St Ives 4-2 while Norwich City III went down 7-1 at home against Bury St Edmunds (Joe Holden).
Norwich City will go into the final weekend of the season outside the bottom two of the Premier Division - despite losing 2-1 at Harleston Magpies II.
The good news for City is that fellow strugglers Sevenoaks and West Herts also lost and remain a point behind them ahead of Saturday’s big game against St Albans II at Taverham.
Tor Findlay put Magpies in the drving seat in the derby with two first half goals and although Emily Francis reduced the arrears in the final quarter it was not enough.
Dereham’s hopes of lifting the Division 1N title suffered a big blow when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Cambridge University II while the students’ first team were winning 3-0 at Bedford II.
Grace Gowing followed in a rebound off the keeper to give Dereham the advantage at the break but the hosts levelled in the second half from a short corner.
Dereham now need to win their final game at home to Cambridge City III, while hoping the students either lose or draw, to go up as champions.
Norwich Dragons came away from Cambridge City with a 1-1 draw courtesy of a goal from Liv Thomas while Lowestoft’s relegation worries increased as they went down to 2-1 at home to St Neots.
North Norfolk won 7-1 at basement club Felixstowe to wrap up the Division 2NE title.
Watton remain second despite a surprise 3-1 home defeat against UEA, with closest rivals Bury St Edmunds being held to a 2-2 draw at Dereham II.
Those results mean Dragons II still have a chance of finishing second following a 3-0 win over Christchurch achieved with goals from Donna Vaughan, Harriet Green and Jess Bennett.
East Women’s Conference
Harleston Magpies Ladies travelled to an in-form Wimbledon side, who are second in the East Conference, and suffered a 6-0 defeat.
When Wimbledon travelled to Weybread earlier in the season they won a very close game 4-3 - but this was a different story.
The game started fairly evenly but Wimbledon gradually got into the game and starting moving the ball round the pitch and pulling Magpies’ press out of shape. The movement of the Wimbledon forwards meant they kept creating chances and before they knew it Magpies were 2-0 down to two well worked short corners.
Magpies kept battling away but Wimbledon were showing their class and managed to score two more goals before half-time.
In the second half Magpies continued to try and create some chances and to do the simple things well.
The team managed to test the Wimbledon defence more than in the first half but the hosts continued to threaten and scored again.
Towards the end of the game the pressure was too much and the Magpies’ defence conceded a penalty stroke which the home side converted to make the final score 6-0. The hosts remain two points behind leaders Hampstead and Westminster, who beat St Albans 1-0.
Next Saturday Magpies travel to St Albans for what will be another tough game as their opponents came out winners when they came to Weybread earlier in the season.
Magpies have already secured the top six finish they need to be part of next season’s new-look National League set-up but will want to get back to winning ways to try and get the top four finish they are aiming for.
Their final fixture is a home clash with relegated Southgate on March 30.
They are currently fifth in the table, behind Sevenoaks only on goal difference,
Squad: Lauren Barber (captain), Jade Daly, Kristine Ayling, Katrina Sitch, Debbie Francis, Charlotte Harrison, Rose Winter, Lottie Summers, Katherine Ridley, Lizzie Clymer, Lauren Rowe, Louisa Greenacre, Emma Lee-Smith, Frances Burrell, Lara Taylor.
Empresa Norfolk League
Premier Division champions Broadland are just one win away from completing a perfect season of 22 straight wins after beating Pelicans II 7-0 in their penultimate fixture.
An early Natasha Blyth penalty corner strike was all Broadland had to show for their efforts in the first half - but the goals flowed after the break. Helen Brokington fired home a hat-trick, Dani Parke and Kelly Allen made it 28 and 25 goals for the season respectively and Hattie Hobart was also on target in another emphatic victory. Pelicans keeper Molly Gromett made some excellent saves to stem the flow.
Second placed Loddon were held to a 1-1 draw at Evergreens, meaning Norwich City III will finish above them if they win their final two games. On Saturday City beat Dragons IV 6-1, after Lilli Ballard had given the visitors a half-time advantage. Holly Totten marked her final game by scoring twice while Kim Lusher, Caroline Illing, Olivia Greenway and Emily Greenway were also on target.
Captain Nikki Kent scored a late winner as Broadland II recovered from losing a 2-0 lead to win 3-2 at UEA II. Their other goals came from Nikki Baker and Holley Becker.
Lowestoft Railway beat Norwich City IV 1-0 while Magpies IV were handed a walk-over by Dereham III.
The top two places in Division One were confirmed as Diss and Reepham won again. Diss beat Norwich City VI 4-0, and will be champions if they avoid defeat at Watton II next week, while Reepham won 3-1 at Beccles.
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