After last week’s heavy home defeat, the Magpies made the short trip to Taverham for this eagerly anticipated local derby against a City side who had picked up a good win at Peterborough last time out. In decent conditions, the game started at a high tempo with Magpies settling quickly moving the ball around nicely. Norwich also made a comfortable start looking a threat on the break as both teams looked to strike early.
As mentioned earlier, we were passing the ball around nicely from front to back and our pace in forward areas was causing major problems to the City defence. We were then dominating the game with the front 3 of Laura Tibbenham, Anouska Stott and Georgie Cantrell linking really well and after a period of sustained pressure of 18 minutes we went 1 up. After good work the ball fell to Georgie Cantrell who unleashed a fierce drive from the top of the D that was skilfully diverted home by Anouska Stott.
With Jess Howland and Cat Maciver winning all the 50/50 battles in the middle of the park, this allowed our wide players to exploit both flanks . Georgie Gardens and Phoebe Eglington were making strong breaks down the left, whereas on the right, ex-City players Sophia Basset and Emily Rash were equally effective. We then took control of the game by the scruff of the neck as Anouska Stott bagged her second and Georgie Cantrell netted a deserved goal as we were good value for a 3 goal lead at the break.
The discussion at half-time was to keep up the work rate and passing but be mindful that City would come out hard so we needed to be resolute and defend as a team. We knew gaps would appear in their defence as they threw more players forward in an attempt to get back into the derby.
City to their credit had read the script and pushed us back into our own half. They were making strong attacks down both flanks and started to create a number of opportunities in our defensive third. We were under a period of heavy pressure as City were running up the Penalty corner count but credit to Alice Wells in goal who made some very important saves to keep our lead intact. Likewise the defensive trio of Charley Seaman, Shev Steggles and Kath Johnson were solid and calm during this pressure, winning their tackles and clearing the ball away from danger.
As the second half ticked by, we started to pick off the home side with some incisive breaks and only some last ditch defending kept us out. We were unlucky not to add a fourth as an excellent save from Glover in the City goal deflected the ball onto the face of the post and away from danger. Towards the end of the game, we looked after the ball well and came away with a very well deserved 3-0 nill win.
After a tough few weeks this is a real boost for the squad to bag their 2nd away win of the season, as everyone contributed to a solid winning performance. This win is also a reward to the commitment of the 14 other Magpies who have represented the 2’s so far this season. Likewise the squad appreciate the support and coaching that they have received from everyone back at the Nest this season. Lastly, the win is also a thank you to the loyal band of supporters who follow the team home and away every week.
Next week, we look forward to welcoming Chelmsford to the Nest as the league reaches its halfway point.