Ladies 5th Team v Norwich City 5ths W 3-2
Norwich made a very rapid start taking advantage of magpies lethargic start. Norwich early possession resulted in 6 short corners in the first ten minutes but speedy running our by Ruby and Talitha thwarted and good goalkeeping kept the ball out. Magpies started to string some passes together and got a short corner of their own at the other end. Talitha got a strike in and Jess Menzies was on hand to force the ball home getting on the scoresheet for the 3rd week in a row.
The strong wind was causing problems with communication and City soon equalised when a player who left unmarked received a inch perfect pass from Kate on the edge of the D. She took the ball into the D and with no-one making a tackle calmly slotted the ball home. Play continued end to end. South African Kate was dominant in midfield for Norwich -luckily for magpies their forwards couldn’t quite get on the end of the passes.
With probably our worst half of hockey of the season over – half time discussions revolved around ball speed, accuracy of passing and setting a better press. Something obviously worked as the magpies had more fight in the second half. The midfield were working very hard to win possession in the middle of the park and confidence lifted. Magpies started creating more chances and putting pressure on the defence. Norwich however were solid in every department and took the lead midway through the second half. If magpies were going to come away with a win they were going to have to dig deep and fight for every single ball. The press was working better, Tibbenham stole the ball from a free hit and with the defender approaching slipped the ball to Ella whose shot was well saved the keeper. Magpies were winning the ball just outside their 25 and Beth Moodie was doing some good runs down the right. Tibbenham persisted in the D and despite having defenders around her managed to push the ball home to get the equaliser. This seemed to spur magpies on even more and further pressure saw Vanessa Vigrass pop up at the left post to give magpies the lead. Every player on the pitch fought hard to preserve this slender lead until the final whistle.
Norwich City 5ths had given magpies their toughest game since Christmas and probably deserved a draw. No less than 9 of the 12 magpies players got a player of the match vote which shows what an all round team effort today was. With Diss and Reepham both winning the chance of promotion has just been missed this year. However a win next week will ensure the 5ths finish the season in 3rd. An excellent performance bearing in mind 90% of the team moved up from development at the beginning of the season. The progress made by all of these girls is clear to see and hopefully next year we might gain promotion.