14 days ago
A second half goal from Megan Todd earned Norwich City Women a deserved point away at AFC Wimbledon on Sunday.
The 1-1 draw was more than just a point for the Canaries as it represented the team’s improving performances since an opening day loss to Billericay Town and lifted them off the bottom of the table.
Straight from kick-off the match was end to end, with both teams putting the pressure on early and taking advantage of the energy that they still had before the heat kicked in.
The Dons had the first attack with a sweeping ball in from the left that was fired into the side netting, getting the home crowd excited early.
Kathryn Stanley had City’s first shot on target, as Jess Harper sent a corner kick into the box. The City winger managed to get her head on the ball but it was too soft and the Blues keeper collected easily.
The game continued to be attack after attack from both sides as all the wingers were used repeatedly to force a ball into the box, but for City, they lacked the end product. Taking one too many passes on the edge of the box soon cost them, as shortly after a Todd miss-hit header from six-yards out, Norwich found themselves one down.
The goal came just after the half an hour mark as a free kick, metres from the edge of the box was fired at goal, cleared off the line at first attempt and then slotted home.
City didn’t let their heads drop though, and continued to hold possession, just lacking a bit of creativity in the final third.
Following the goal, Wimbledon only looked stronger and had a burst of energy, firing shots left right and centre at goal, but Bryony Williams and her defence were solid, keeping it to just a one goal deficit before the break.
The second half started just as energetic as the first, with both sides not letting the heat affect their press. City took advantage of counterattacks, with Stanley firing over from inside the box from an awkward angle.
This was shortly followed by an attack from Jodie Drake on the left wing, who cut through the defence, went for a shot on the left side of the box which went too far across goal and landed for Todd to chase, but the ball was eventually cleared away on the right wing.
Wimbledon then started to look the more dangerous, as Williams was put to work between the sticks. The City keeper made two great saves off her line as the shots kept coming from the home side. A strong shout for a penalty was made for the Blues but to the dismay of the crowd and the bench, the referee waved it away.
At 69 minutes Norwich finally got their equaliser, as the Dons’ keeper failed to collect the ball which came in at a height, allowing Todd to slot home her first of the season.
Wimbledon did not seem to waiver after the equaliser, continuing their attack at full force and keeping the City defence on their toes.
Williams wasn’t kept too busy though, as Chardonnay Johnston, Ellie Bishop and Anna Larkins did all they could to block shots coming the keeper’s way.
Norwich City Women: Williams; Johnston, Larkins, O’Callaghan (Bishop), Drake, Daviss (Gooding), Collins, Snelling, Todd, Stanley (Osborne), Harper (Cook).