It was a game of attrition. Trench warfare had more openings than this game, but goals from Knight and Brookes sealed an important 3 points for City
The first half was very cagy. Norton did well to shut down their box any time the Tigresses tried to advance. A good effort from Knight that was well parried by the Norton ‘keeper but Ackroyd slipped as she attempted to slot home the rebound. It then took until the 40th minute before another chance, Ackroyd again causing problems, this time down the line, and her cutback missed Thompson before Copsey fired wide from the edge of the area
The second half opened up more for the hosts. Half chances for Knight and Tanser, who’s powerful header was cleared off the line, showed signs of more to come.
It was Knight, with her 6th of the season, who eventually we opened the scoring. Thompson delivered a tantalising ball in to the box from wide, which Knight volleyed high into the net
Moments later Knight again had another chance, this one flashing off the post and away, before Thompson – direct from a free kick – forced an impressive save from Chisnall.
The Norton hit back. A deep cross looped off the outstretched leg of Wilson, and high over Wallace to nestle in at the far post.
But it was City who pushed for more. Tanser flashed another header wide from a deep corner and both Brookes and Ackroyd had tantalising crosses seen away by the determined Norton defence
And then the goal came. Brookes had been a nightmare since she came on, and again she threatened the back line of the visitors. This time a drive into the box gave her the chance to power a low shot in, and, via a deflection, it nestled into the net for her first senior goal, and City’s winner
“Today was never going to be pretty, we knew that and felt we had trained for that today. You have to be patient, be resilient to what’s going on, and then come out and try and play in spaces that didn’t existWe relied on our game changers, and fully believed in their ability to pick and find spaces or raise the tempo enough to lift us over the line. Shay, Lib and Tans all offered that in abundance and played a huge part in the resultWe take the result and look to apply a better performance in training in the week and into next weekend”
– Chris Hames