Norwich City Ladies 2 Billericay Ladies 3: Dramatic FA Cup exit for Canaries
- Credit: Archant
Norwich City Ladies bowed out of the women's FA Cup in dramatic style after going down 3-2 at home to Billericay Ladies.
City will be kicking themselves after blowing a two-goal lead in the first-round clash at Plantation Park.
After a tentative start by both teams, Norwich settled first and took hold of the game.
And, after increased possession and territorial advantage, Norwich were rewarded on 19 minutes when Chelsea Garrett scored the opening goal, beating Alexandra Baker in the Billericay goal.
With the bit between their teeth, Norwich increased the pressure on the visitors and Ellie Smith made it 2-0 on 34 minutes with an improvised effort with her knee. Norwich were dominating play and continued to pile the pressure on the visitors' defence but failed to make the most of other opportunities. With half-time approaching both teams were reduced to 10 players with one from each side shown a red card.
Norwich sacrificed an attacking player for a defender to help protect their lead and in response Billericay went with a more attack-minded approach, taking the game to their hosts.
Both sides struggled to find their rhythm and as the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Norwich had a chance to put the result beyond doubt, but Garrett couldn't find her touch, beating the stranded Baker only to hit the post and see the ball go across the goal to a waiting Billericay defender who cleared.
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Then came the first blow, as Billericay pulled one back on 82 minutes, with a goal from Esme Lancaster.
Five minutes later it was all square as Amy Nash capitalised on a defensive mistake.
There was more drama to come in extra-time, with a second Billericay player sent off – and then, with 13 minutes of 15 played Georgia Box put Billericay ahead.
Norwich were also reduced to nine players in the second period of extra-time as Billericay managed to see the game out.
The ladies will now focus on Sunday's Women's County Cup fixture against Acle United.
Norwich: Armstrong, Parker, Thacker, Diston, Parsons, Daviss, Drake, Smith (Cook 80), Durrant (George 101), Garrett (Stanley 72), Snelling (Robson 46). Ref: Ashley Tyne. Att: 78.