QPR Ladies (2) – Norwich City Ladies (3)

FA Women’s Premier League Cup 1st Round

Team: Caldwell, Lopes. Hennessey, Thompson, Hester, Searle (Smith), Critchley, Anu, Godden, Peck, Engels

Upon arrival, Ron Hill informed us that, unfortunately, no match programme had been issued.

We realised that Lauren Peck wasn’t going to make the starting line-up as she was limping in the pre-match warm-up. Also, there was no sign or news of Elly Maggs?

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Zoe Tynan, the 19-year-old Fylde Ladies player who had tragically passed away the previous week.

Rangers took the lead after six minutes when Jenny Critchley’s deep cross from the right flank was palmed into the net.

At the other end, a good pass down the right wing resulted in a ball into the box to an unmarked Norwich player who proceeded to shoot over the bar.

The visitors equalised after 15 minutes when Victoria Caldwell came out to clear the danger, but the ball came off an R’s defender and broke free. This then provided the City player with the easy task of slotting the ball home.

The Canaries had a very good opportunity to take the lead, when in a one-on-one situation Caldwell dived to her left to knock the ball behind. The resulting corner was crossed long and drifted out for a goal-kick.

Another dangerous run down the right wing saw the Norwich player cut in and then fire her shot, which brought out a superb save from the Rangers custodian.

A City player was booked seemingly for something she said?

Norwich were enjoying a dangerous spell which involved most of their moves originating from their No.7 on the right flank. So it was no surprise when they took the lead after 27 minutes when Ebony Wiseman’s 25-yard shot went beyond Caldwell’s reach.

Rangers went close with an effort that whizzed just wide of the post. Then the Canaries were awarded a disputed free kick 30 yards out which Victoria Caldwell managed to knock over the crossbar.

With half-time fast approaching and with the goal gaping, a Norwich player sort of kicked the ball against her own foot, sending it wide for a goal kick. Half-time: 1-2.

After the break, a City player broke away and Victoria Caldwell bravely went down to grab the ball, but they both ended up colliding with each other. This left the R’s custodian requiring treatment, I think to her jaw?

QPR had been relying on long-range shooting, however, a good ball in by Critchley was chested down by I think Esther Anu, who then hooked the ball just over the crossbar.

On the hour mark, Rangers’ lone substitute, Smith, replaced Ellie Searle.

On 70 minutes, Olivia Thompson superbly thumped a long-range belter into the top corner from around 30-yards to make it 2-2.

Victoria Caldwell did well to clutch the ball at the feet of a City player as she attempted to evade her grasp.

But then Caldwell couldn’t quite hold on to a high ball, which had been lofted over from the right flank, but Micaela Lopes was on hand to make a superb goal-line clearance.

Norwich’s winner came with about ten minutes remaining following a ball in from the right, which Kayla Love hit first time on the half-volley.

Rangers went down to ten players after Caldwell had been rounded and a superb, but heavy defensive challenge from the R’s No.5, forced the defender to limp off.

So it was Norwich who went through into Round 2 and the R’s were set to go into the Plate competition.

Steve Russell