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Enfield Town 0 Norwich City 0
Enfield Town and Norwich City fought out a well contested goalless draw at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium which keeps both clubs towards the middle of the FAWPL South East Division One table.
A strong breeze end to end made conditions tricky and play was briefly halted for a hailstorm early in proceedings but both teams had spells of dominance with the visitors having the better chances to take the spoils but ultimately it was the defences who took the honours.
FAWPL Plate finalists Enfield were on the back foot either side of a five minute delay for a passing hail shower, defending two early corners and seeing an Ellen Swift shot fly inches wide of the far post. The hosts found their own attacking rhythm for a while but were grateful for a Claire Gooch-Ford block after Ebony Wiseman had run through the defence from half way on 18 minutes.
Cally Browne did equally well to clear a dangerous cross from Norwich sub Abi Gower, on for the injured Megan Bartlett, whilst Swift went close again on 27 minutes. Enfield had the better of the game as the break approached. Nuala McKevitt was wide with a header from a Kerrie Marlborough corner then Eliza Diaz went very close from distance.
Neither keeper had been really tested in the opening half but within a minute Enfield's Bethan Davies did well to block a Wiseman shot from close range. Chelsea Garrett then saw an effort deflected wide for a corner as the visitors again started well. Wiseman set up Gower with a fine through ball but Davies again saved at point blank range.
Enfield had their best move of the match on 57 minutes when Sheryce Slater set up Alena Beganovic whose shot beat the diving Fiona Coombes but also the far post. The Canaries' keeper was in action again a minute later, punching away a dangerous cross from Holly Brandon.
Ayse Mustafa was very lively in the Enfield attack and nearly found a way to open the scoring but Coombes was equal to her 20 yard effort on 78 minutes. The visiting keeper then dived to beat away a powerful shot from sub Esther Yong at her near post with five minutes remaining but it was the visitors who had three big chances to take the points in as many minutes late on.
Gower did more fine work to set up Swift in front of goal but her shot was wide. Gower then rattled the frame of the goal from a narrow angle on 89 minutes and finally Wiseman got on the end of another flowing move but her first time effort flew inches wide of the far post.
Despite some late Enfield pressure, a superbly timed tackle by Kate Parsons to deny a last gasp Enfield scoring chance reflected that on this day, defenders and keepers deservedly took the plaudits.
Enfield Town: Bethan Davies, Cally Browne, Elizabeth Kent, Claire Gooch-Ford, Kerrie Marlborough, Eliza Diaz, Nuala McKevitt, Ayse Mustafa, Sheryce Slater, Alena Beganovic, Holly Brandon. Subs: Esther Yong, Anne Flanagan.
Norwich City: Fiona Coombes, Bryony Radley, Brooke Osborne, Anna Larkins, Kate Parsons, Ebony Wiseman, Ellen Swift, Erin Wilson, Chelsea Garrett, Natasha Snelling, Megan Bartlett. Subs: Jade Nicholson, Abigail Gower.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Abigail Gower in pursuit of Kerrie Marlborough
(middle) Ayse Mustafa slides in to challenge Ebony Wiseman
(bottom) Alena Beganovic is challenged by Kate Parsons
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