United's women returned to winning ways in front of a bumper crowd at the Abbey Stadium on Sunday...
Comfortably sitting mid table in the FA Women’s National League Southeast table, United welcomed their East Anglian counterparts to the Abbey Stadium this weekend in the hope of consolidating their league positon and subsequently increasing Norwich City's relegation worries.
Darren Marjoram named two changes to the side that fell to defeat against Hashtag United a fortnight ago, with Griffin and Rouse dropping out of the side, paving the way for Mitchell and Jenkins to come in.
Following a cagey opening five minutes, the game sparked into life when Ruth Fox’s low shot from edge of area was excellently tipped around the post by Bryony Williams after eight minutes, with United unable to muster up an opportunity on the Norwich net from the resulting corner, despite a goal-line scramble.
Leading by example, captain Laura Baker was shown an early yellow card just 11 minutes in after when the midfielder clattered into her Norwich City counterpart, leaving Millie Daviss in a heap on the floor and in turn denying Norwich the opportunity to break forward.
Looking like United’s main outlet, Fox again threatened seven minutes later, with the forward being well found free in the area before being denied again by Williams.
Marjoram’s sides early dominant play was rewarded 28 minutes after the ball fell kindly for Stojko-Down to fire into an open net following some nice work from Fox keeping the ball in play before being tackled inside the area.
Despite early dominance, the visitors grew into the game as the half went on, with Jodie Drake looking the most threatening. However, United stood firm, preserving their one-goal advantage into the half-time interval.
United returned in the second half looking to double their advantage, with Fox and Bennett going close in quick succession, however found themselves lucky not to be pegged back after 59 minutes after Freya Symonds’ shot looped over Lauren Webb’s head but luckily not into the net.
Norwich’s hopes of getting back into the game took a major blow after 68 minutes, with substitute Ella Gambell being shown a straight red following a late challenge on Jenkins.
Just two minutes later however, Lauren Webb was called into action to produce her best save of the game, denying former U Megan Todd’s close-range header following a Norwich corner.
The sending off inevitably opened the game up, with later proceedings seeing both teams go close. The best of the bunch fell to Freya Symonds, who was brilliantly denied by Lauren Webb in United’s net after the striker raced away from United’s back four.
A flurry on United changes in the final ten minutes saw Cantwell, Hewitt and Marden come on for Stojko-Down, Baker and Jenkins respectively.
As legs began to tire, United’s on-field advantage began to shine through as the U’s saw multiple chance go begging prior to the final whistle being blown.
United’s women are back in action on Wednesday night looking to make it two wins from two in the FA Women’s National League Southeast, with Darren Marjoram’s playing host to Stevenage at St. Neots.
Cambridge United season ticket holders can watch the game for FREE on the day.
Saturday's (March 5th) first team clash with Shrewsbury Town will be dedicated to Women's Football Weekend, with a whole host of activities and initiatives will be carried out during the day as we celebrate our female supporters, staff and players, whilst also raising awareness of the barriers and discrimination that Women continue to face when supporting or playing for their team.