QPR Women FC (0) – Norwich City Women (2)

FA Women’s National League Division One (South East)

Team: McLean, Curr, Searle, Gunn, Grieve, Lewin, Hall, Hennessy, Nygaard-Parsons, Akerman, Moore

Subs: Jordinson, Pope, Kumaning, Wardlaw, Petit

Attendance: 910

Just prior to kick-off Vicky Grieve and Anna Larkins laid wreaths in the centre-circle in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11. This was then followed by a minute’s silence and the National Anthem.

The Canaries came into this game unbeaten and it was they, that broke away in the early stages. Although looking offside, Katie McLean did really well to get down, whilst under pressure, and successfully grab the ball.

Then soon after, Bryony Williams came out to clear the ball, but her clearance fell to Brogan Moore some 35-yards out. With the keeper still well off her line, she lofted her shot goalwards, but it ended up agonisingly just wide of the post.

At the other end, Katie McLean charged out but didn’t quite reach the ball, and despite still being out of position she did really well to stretch up an arm and snuff out the danger.

The Norwich keeper spilled a decent shot on target and the ball went behind for a corner.

The R’s were getting closer to opening the scoring and after 17 minutes Vicky Grieve belted her effort against the upright. Minutes later, Mel Hall shot just over the crossbar.

Despite being well on top it was the away side who took the lead on 19 minutes when Kathryn Stanley curled the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the box.

Rangers had a player booked following a pull-back on Natasha Snelling and the resulting free kick sailed over the crossbar.

On 31 minutes, Laura Hennessy’s excellent free kick from over 25-yards rebounded off of the post. The R’s No.8 then got herself into a good position, but Bryony Williams made the save. And at half-time the score remained 0-1 to the visitors.

Into the second-half and Katie McLean, alert to the threat, had to advance from her line and despite a high boot, she bravely managed to grab the ball. The referee awarded a free kick for dangerous play.

Katie Akerman’s shot from over 25-yards whizzed past the post and the R’s were back on top.

Ellie Searle took off down the left-wing and put a great ball across the box to set-up Mel Hall, which concluded with a Norwich defender putting it behind for a corner.

On 55 minutes, Emilia Nygaard-Parsons made way for the return of Sue Kumaning.

Persistent pressure on a City defender resulted in the effort spinning up in the air and the ball ended up going behind for a QPR corner.

Steve Quashie brought on Kasha Petit after 64 minutes at the expense of Katie Akerman and around ten minutes later Ellen Wardlaw replaced Alice Curr.

Mel Hall fired in a powerful shot from just outside the ‘D’ and Bryony Williams did well to keep the ball out with an excellent diving save.

The final two Rangers changes were made on 83 minutes which saw the introduction of Lauren Jordinson and Erin Pope respectively.

After turning her marker, Mel Hall let fly and as the ball dipped, it narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Despite the Rangers pressure, the Canaries sealed their victory with around five minutes remaining. After some good defending, Lauren Jordinson headed Olivia Cook’s effort behind. Anna Larkins’ corner was then headed home by Megan Todd.

But the home side were still on the front-foot with Sue Kumaning winning a corner, from which, Vicky Grieve put the ball over the bar.

In the closing stages, City substitute Ella Campbell was booked for time wasting as she held up play with her delayed throw-in.

Norwich had defended resolutely but Steve Quashie’s side had created so many chances throughout and deserved to get something out of the game.

Next up for the R’s is a National League Cup tie on Sunday against Ipswich Town at the Powerday Stadium.

Steve Russell