Cambridge United Women picked up an impressive point on the road at Norwich City's Carrow Road on Sunday in-front of a nearly 5,000 strong crowd...
After taking the lead through Bella Simmons' first half goal, the U’s were pegged back early in the second and had to remain resolute throughout the rest of the way to take back a point to Cambridge.
It was the second meeting between the two teams already this season - the first coming in the FAWNL Cup - where the U’s lost out to their league rivals. Although not a victory, today's away point will go some-way to making amends following the earlier result against the Canaries.
The result means that United remain unbeaten after three league games, following a home win against Haywards Heath and a draw away at AFC Sudbury.
Darren Marjoram made two changes from the team that earned a draw at Sudbury earlierin the week, with Rachel Kosky coming in for Mayzee Seymour, and Sammy Edgar replacing Niamh Day.
The game started slowly, with both teams struggling to control the game and create any notable chances. The U’s came close from a corner just after 15 minutes, however Bella Simmons could only head the ball over the bar.
Cambridge made the breakthrough 20 minutes in when Simmons opened the scoring following a period of United pressure on the Norwich goal. Moments earlier, Kosky rattled the bar from long range before Alysha Stojko-Down headed wide from the follow up. The goal came from the resulting corner, as Simmons reached quickest to stab home underneath the scrambling goalkeeper.
The U's kept up the pressure on the Norwich defence, passing from front to back with speed and simplicity, however the final passes never materialised and the opportunity to double the lead came and went.
A close free kick over the bar for the home team swung the pressure in their favour for the final 15 minutes, with a one-on-one stood up well by Lauren Webb in the U’s goal. The final action of the half ended with Webb’s crossbar being struck by Snelling from 18 yards, seeing Cambridge into half time with an advantage and chance to re-group.
Norwich picked up where they left off just after the break. Lauren Rouse was ajudged by the referee to have fouled Ellie Smith in the box and awarded a penalty to the Canaries, which was put away by Megan Todd to bring the game level.
The game progressed evenly, with both teams working hard in the heat to gain an advantage. The high temperature had a significant effect on the players as the game wore on, with Simmons and Fox both going down with cramp with 5 minutes to go. A late substitution was required for the U’s as Niamh Day coming on to replace goalscorer Simmons.
The U's had one final opportunity to clinch the three points after earning a free kick in the attacking half. The delivery evaded every player in the box other than the Norwich keeper, which led to the final whistle and a positive point heading back to Cambridge.
United return home next week, welcoming Actonians to the Premier Plus Stadium on Sunday 17 September at 2pm.
Cambridge United: Webb, Kosky, Rouse, Jackson, Cheal-Ferris, Edgar, Steele, Wood, Fox, Simmons (Day, 90+4’), Stojko-Down
Subs Not Used: Otten, Seymour, Collins, Morley
Goalscorers: Simmons (22’)
Norwich City: Quantrill, Parker, Flye, Todd, Smith (Stanley, 81’), Snelling (Symonds, 81’), Larkins, Knights (Tomlinson, 45’), Morran (Strauss, 90+6’), Lawrence, Croft (Shaw, 45’)
Subs Not Used: n/a
Goalscorers: Todd (47’)
Player of the Match: R. Kosky