QPR FC Women (1) – Norwich City Women (2)

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

Team: Francis-Pownall, Curr, Searle, Hill, Blodgett, Lewin, Petit, Hennessy, Stanley, Akerman, McCrea.

Attendance: 1,917

As the Loftus Road crowd continued to build, the ball was played through to Renai McCrea. The R’s wing-back then got into a good position, but she shot wide of the target.

At the other end, a ball squared from the right narrowly evaded a team mate at full-stretch in the six-yard box.

Then, following a corner, Georgie Lewin’s header flashed just wide of the upright.

Rangers took a deserved lead in the 15th minute when Grace Stanley notched up her eighth goal of the season, after being set-up by Renai McCrea.

In the 35th minute, Mya Francis-Pownall was dramatically shown a red card. The R’s keeper had advanced from her area to clear the ball, but in an attempt to do so, she fouled Ellie Smith. Defender Jo Blodgett then donned the keeper’s jersey.

Now playing in a 4-4-1 formation, the Rangers team still maintained their shape.

Jo Blodgett was soon called into action when she put Rachel Lawrence’s dangerous cross/shot behind. However, the Canaries equalised from the resulting corner after Megan Todd’s header found the back of the net.

The R’s stand-in keeper then did well when she managed to hang on to a low drive.

Four added minutes were indicated and during this period Jo Blodgett superbly knocked Alice Parker’s strike onto the crossbar. Half-time: 1-1.

Into the second-half and the home side continued to battle for possession. An Ellie Searle effort went just wide of the target.

Steve Quashie made two changes on 57 minutes, which saw the introduction of Grace Shephard and Jess Harris at the expense of Alice Curr and Katie Akerman respectively.

Within a minute or so of coming on, Jess Harris shot just wide of the post.

The visitors took the lead in the 64th minute. Following a ball in from the right, Ellie Smith toe-poked it into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.

A few minutes later, Emilia Nygaard-Parsons replaced Kasha Petit.

On 74 minutes, the chant of ‘Q-P-R’, Q-P-R’ gathered momentum around the South Africa Road Stand.

The Canaries were pushed onto the back-foot during the closing stages. Sarah Quantrill managed to grab hold of a Rangers strike on goal.

On 82 minutes, Izzy Owen came on for Renai McCrea and the final substitution was made shortly after, when Grace Stanley made-way for Frankie Webster.

Into the seven added minutes, and with Rangers still looking for an equaliser, Jo Blodgett headed up-field to take a free kick from a widish position, 30-yards or so out.

Sarah Quantrill was booked for time-wasting, but for all their spirited endeavour, Rangers couldn’t find that second goal.

The league leaders therefore extended their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.

And next up for the R’s was a midweek home game against Actonians at the Powerday Stadium.

Steve Russell