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Norwich City Ladies 2 Actonians Ladies 5: City Ladies can’t follow up derby day victory

Kate Parsons drives the ball forward against Actonians. Picture: Brian Coombes

Kate Parsons drives the ball forward against Actonians. Picture: Brian Coombes

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Norwich City Ladies went down to a 5-2 defeat against Actonian Ladies at Plantation Park.

Kate Parsons wins the aerial battle for Norwich City Ladies against Actonians. Picture: Brian CoombesKate Parsons wins the aerial battle for Norwich City Ladies against Actonians. Picture: Brian Coombes

With a number of enforced changes to the victorious midweek squad against Ipswich Town, Norwich drafted in some of the development players to add depth and strength.

From the outset, both teams enjoyed spells of possession and early opportunities on goal. However, Actonians scored first with 10 minutes played, Jennifer Laidlaw capitalising on a defensive mistake beating Hope Armstrong, the Norwich keeper.

The response was immediate as Natasha Snelling’s well struck free kick just outside the 18 yard box beat Actonians’ keeper Paige Horsnell.

A midfield error gifted Actonians a second, the first of a trio scored by Alessandra Barreca, this one on 27 minutes. Her second followed nine minutes later, but determined to cut the deficit, Kate Parsons’ well struck left-footed shot from distance found the net.

Young Norwich City Ladies striker Rosie George pulls away from defenders. Picture: Brian CoombesYoung Norwich City Ladies striker Rosie George pulls away from defenders. Picture: Brian Coombes

At the restart, Norwich set out to gain control of the game by retaining possession and exploit any errors. Actonians, looking stronger, now soaked up the pressure and Barreca sealed her hat trick on 64 minutes.

Both teams utilised their substitutes, introducing fresh legs with minimal impact, until Sara Lopez Ezzahiri of Actonians scored on 75 minutes. The final 15 minutes were tough for both teams in the unusually high afternoon temperatures, but Actonians seemed to cope slightly better.

Despite an onslaught on the Norwich goal up to the final whistle, the Norwich defence restricted the damage to 5-2.

Norwich will now start preparing for their next away fixture, this time in the second qualifying Round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup against Boston United Ladies, on Sunday..

Norwich: Armstrong, Parker, Ward, Robson, Parsons, Smith (Rogers 60), Youngs (Cook 42), Drake, George, Snelling, Love (McDonald 75). Subs not used: None

Actonians: Horsnell, Wan, Murphy, Uche (Maplin 77), Lopes, Laidlaw, Barreca, Engels (Graham 72), Williams, Orridge-Golding, Summers (Lopez Ezzahiri 57). Subs not used: None

Referee: Christopher Fernandes

Attendance: 20

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