Norwich City Women lifting the Harrod Sport Women's Cup trophy at Carrow Road

Canaries cruise to Carrow Road crown

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Norwich City took the wind out of Yachtswomen sails in a dominant second half display to retain the Harrod Sport Women's Cup.

Norwich City retained the Harrod Sport Women’s Cup on Monday night with an emphatic 6-0 win over Wroxham at Carrow Road.

A tight first half saw only a Natasha Snelling goal separate the two sides, but the second half proved to be too much for Wroxham as Norwich ran riot.

Goals from Katie Knights, Hope Strauss, Ellie Smith and second for Snelling saw the excellent Canaries go 5-0 up against their Tier 5 rivals.

A late own goal only added to the misery for the Yachtswomen who were not deserved of a 6-0 scoreline, but failed to find the Norwich net.

In a dominant opening to the game, Norwich had a flurry of chances after a string of corners, which called for valiant blocking and a goal line clearance from the Wroxham back line to deny Ceri Flye in the first five minutes.

City continued to enjoy the majority of possession, playing some nice passes as they tried to break down a resolute Yachtswomen low block. Wroxham were forced to try and play on the counterattack in the early stages with Lara Densley providing some pace on the right-hand side.

It was Densley who had Wroxham’s first real effort on goal as the halfway point of the first period approached, when forward Luci Middleton played a neat one two with the winger that unlocked the City defence. The tall number seven drove to the corner of the box and unleashed a strike but was unable to get enough on her shot for it to trouble Sarah Quantrill in the Norwich goal.

The deadlock was broken on the half an hour mark when a long ball out to the left was misjudged by the Wroxham back line. Lauren Hailes looked to get on the end of a Katie Knights cross but was met with an excellent block which saw the ball sail into the air. A mistimed header caused the ball to float across the six-yard box, and fortuitously fell to the grateful Natasha Snelling to prod home at close range.

With five minutes of the half to go, Ellie Smith stepped up to hit a well placed free kick to the right of Bryony Williams in the Yachtswomen goal. The stopper moved brilliantly to get an outstretched hand up in time to tip over the bar, and the Wroxham defence were able to clear the resulting corner.

After some good play from Wroxham in the middle of the park it was Norwich who almost got a second with a long ball on the counterattack. Snelling was through on goal, and was pulled down by Lauren Kett who was saved from seeing red thanks to another recovering defender. Hailes struck the resulting free kick well but Williams was equal to the shot, gathering with firm hands.

As first half stoppage time ebbed away, the introduction of Lauren Bullard saw Wroxham get a couple of clear cut chances on goal, however the nippy forward was unable to convert on either occasion and Norwich took a slender lead into the break.

Half time: Wroxham 0 – 1 Norwich City

Norwich started the second half much like the started the first, on the front foot, and were rewarded in the opening minutes when Hailes played Kennard through on the right hand side. The pacey right winger delivered a ball into a congested area and it eventually fell to Knights who struck the ball well over the outstretched Williams to double the Canaries’ lead.

As Wroxham looked to respond the game became more end to end, with both teams playing fast football on the counter. The Yachtswomen probed forward trying to find a way back into the game, with Norwich happy to release Kennard on the right in response.

Kennard almost made it 3-0 on 56 minutes when another line breaking pass forward saw her through on goal. A brilliant save from Williams with her feet was enough to stop the shot, with Newcombe following in to block the rebound from Snelling.

Norwich did find their third halfway through the second period when substitute Lauren Tomlinson received the ball on the halfway line and beat her marker with a fantastic first touch. The left footed fullback then drove forward, striding past two players before delivering an excellent lofted cross which hung in the air beautifully before the onrushing Snelling, who timed her run perfectly, headed home to secure her brace.

In a further blow to the Yachtswomen’s hopes, Smith received a threaded pass inside the box and hit the floor, with Catchpole adjudging that she was fouled and pointing to the spot. Centre back Hope Strauss stepped up and calmly slotted the ball to the right of Williams to make it 4-0.

As the game entered the final period, Norwich rang in the changes and continued to drive forward against the tired legs of Wroxham. Substitute Shannon Shaw almost got on the score sheet with ten to go after a great through ball saw her one v one with Williams, but the keeper dived brilliantly to stop the effort.

The Canaries smelled blood and although a harsh scoreline on Wroxham, capped off a fine evening at Carrow Road when a great run from substitute Symonds saw her drive forward hit a Wroxham leg and bounce back to the onrushing Smith who calmly found the bottom corner to make it 5-0 with five to go.

As the final minutes approached, Captain Anna Larkins was substituted to a standing ovation from the crowd, with the defender playing her last ever game for the Canaries having started playing for the club over 10 years ago.

Landing a last-minute blow to the Yachtswomen, a late corner saw an unfortunate deflection off a Wroxham defender which resulted in the wrongfooted Williams watch helplessly as the ball bobbled into the net.

As the final moments ticked by, Wroxham still searched for a consolation goal with Densley driving forward but the Canaries’ defence held firm for the clean sheet. Referee Catchpole blew to end what turned out to be a miserable night for the Yachtswomen, but a dominant and enjoyable evening for Norwich who retain the trophy.

Full time: Wroxham 0 – 6 Norwich City

Wroxham: Bryony Williams, Leah Newcome, Chelsea Clarke, Rachel Cossey, Lauren Kett, Albany Hodgson, Lara Densley, Rebecca Russel, Luci Middleton, Lily Alexander, Ella Gambell.

Subs: Holly Connell, Lauren Bullard, Lucy Eagle, Tigi Robson, Summer Copland.

Norwich City: Sarah Quantrill, Alice Parker, Ceri Flye, Ellie Smith, Natasha Snelling, Anna Larkins ©, Katie Knights, Lauren Hailes, Eloise Morran, Hope Strauss, Holly Kennard.

Subs: Millie Daviss, Freya Symonds, Lauren Tomlinson, Shannon Shaw, Charlotte Pernet.


Referee: Lorraine Catchpole

Assistant Referees: Craig Ellis and Steve Hemp

Fourth Official: Michelle Rinaldi

Attendance: 922

Player of the Match: Ellie Smith

Photography: Matt Usher