Norwich City Ladies hold their nerve to edge Women’s Premier League derby epic against Ipswich Town

From left, Emily Lewis, Ebony Wiseman, Kate Parsons and Chelsea Garrett celebrate the latter's secon

From left, Emily Lewis, Ebony Wiseman, Kate Parsons and Chelsea Garrett celebrate the latter's second goal. Picture: SARAH JAMES - Credit: Archant

Norwich City Ladies survived a ferocious fightback to beat their fiercest rivals 4-3 and reclaim East Anglian bragging rights.

The Canaries, who had been beaten 3-2 in both of their matches against Ipswich Town earlier this term, finally beat the Tractor Girls at the third time of asking. But they made it far more nervous than it needed to be by conceding three goals after storming into an imposing 4-0 lead at the Goldstar Ground.

In the end it was Chelsea Garrett's hat-trick clinching strike after the break that proved to be the difference as City held on to pick up three points and move a place above Ipswich, now seventh, in the Women's Premier League (WPL) South East Division One table.

The visitors started on the front foot on Sunday and made the breakthrough in the 14th minute. Good hold-up play from Tash Snelling released Paige Shorten and her delightful ball was collected by the charging Garrett. She beat the final defender before smashing across the home keeper and into the net.

City doubled their lead just four minutes later when a poorly-cleared corner fell to Ebony Wiseman. Her centre picked out captain Kate Parsons and, after a clever bit of skill, she thumped home.

The away side's electric start continued with 21 minutes on the clock as Garrett showed her predatory instincts to put City in dreamland.

That delight grew early in the second period when Wiseman's effort was saved and Garrett gobbled up the rebound to seal her treble.

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But City took their foot off the gas and, coupled with the loss of Parsons to injury and a tactical reshuffle, Ipswich almost made them pay.

Molly Hall's header on the 67th minute gave Town hope and when Amanda Crump's corner sailed into the net the fightback was really on. Natasha Thomas hit the post as Ipswich laid seige to Fiona Coombes' – who made some good saves – goal.

Hall eventually made it three in the 89th minute but City held firm to deny what would have been a sensational comeback as Ipswich were made to pay for a poor first-half showing.

Ipswich: Clement, Cossey, Crump, Fagg, Hall, Prettyman, Small, Leanne Smith, Thomas, Young. Used substitutes: Craddock, Lindsey Smith. Goals: Hall (67, 89), Crump (73)

Norwich: Coombes, Osborne, Wilson, Wiseman, Parsons (Gower, 66), Larkin, Swift, Lewin, Garrett, Snelling, Shorten. Unused substitute: Bird (goalkeeper). Goals: Garrett (14, 21, 52), Parsons (18)