Women’s East League round-up: Reynolds’ strike settles a hard-fought derby match
- Credit: Archant
Norwich City Ladies came out on top in a tough derby game against Norwich Dragons II to maintain their 100pc start in Division 1N.
City won the game against the side they were promoted with last season 1-0, with a first half goal from Rachel Reynolds proving decisive.
Dragons, who welcomed Natalie Beal back into the squad, thought they had taken the lead within the first 10 minutes, only to see the goal ruled out.
The home team piled on the pressure but the back three of Sophie Thomas, Rowie York Smith and Ally Windsor Waite battled hard and were well protected by Shelly Seaman and Karen O'Neill Simpson.
Norwich could not find a way through until late in the first half when Reynolds picked up a rebound from a short corner and drove a shot that was deflected high into the goal.
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While Norwich continued to have most possession they could not find a second which would have put the game to bed and deep into the second half Gina Hunt was called upon to make an important save to keep Norwich ahead.
Earlier the pacey Laura Shreeve made a great break into the D and unselfishly slipped to ball to Hannah Hardy whose diving effort went wide.
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Player of the match for City was Lucy Ripman.
Dragons' first team were beaten 3-0 at home by a strong Bromley and Beckenham side in the Premier Division. The visitors started brightly and took the lead through a scrappy short corner. The home side grew into the half and non-stop running from player-of-the-match Rachel King created chances and short corners but the visiting keeper was in good form.
Coach Pete Thomas called on the Dragons to step forward in the second half but it was the London side who started it strongly and they soon doubled their lead.
Dragons continued to push forward, with King combining well with Hayley Toleman to create further chances, but they could not force the ball over the line.
Bromley and Beckenham were well organised and disciplined and Dragons' keeper Siobhan Cleeve was forced to make some excellent saves. But she could do nothing about a deflected short corner effort which extended the away side's lead and effectively sealed the game.
Another home game against newly promoted Maidstone awaits next weekend when Dragons will aim to add to their points tally of three points from three games.
Norfolk's two other teams in the top flight are still both looking for their first points of the new season.
Newly promoted Dereham slid to a 4-0 defeat at Maidstone while Harleston Magpies II were thrashed 6-0 at West Herts. That means both the women's and men's second teams at Weybread have now lost all three of their games at East League level.
Cromer-based North Norfolk are going well in Division 2NE following last season's relegation. They lead the way after beating UEA 3-1.
Lowestoft Ladies, who were 3-1 winners at Dereham II, are also impressing while in other games Watton won an amazing match at Christchurch 9-4, Yarmouth won 4-3 at Ipswich and East Suffolk and Panthers hammered Framlingham 5-1.