Ladies exit cup at first hurdle
QPR LADIES suffered late heartache at the end of a five-goal thriller with Norwich City in their FAWPL Cup Determining Round tie on Sunday.
Jenny Critchley gave Martino Chevannes’ side the perfect start inside six minutes at Honeycroft, but two goals before the break handed the visitors the half-time advantage.
Olivia Thompson’s long-range screamer looked to have at least forced an additional 30 minutes, but there would be a final twist in normal time as Norwich snatched victory in the closing stages.
Chevannes’ new-look side suffered defeat in their FAWPL opener seven days earlier, but came flying out of the traps this time around. Critchley provided the breakthrough, finding the net from distance.
The lead didn’t last long, though, as a defensive mix-up allowed City to level on the quarter-hour mark. Victoria Caldwell’s clearance cannoned back off an R’s defender, gifting the Canaries forward the simplest of chances which they duly took.
And worse was to follow on 27 minutes. This time Caldwell was caught out from long-range, as Ebony Wiseman’s speculative lob agonisingly looped over the R’s goalkeeper.
Norwich held their lead until the break, but it was Rangers who were on top after the interval. Esther Anu flashed a volley just over as they looked for an equaliser of their own.
It finally arrived 20 minutes from time – and it was worth the wait. Thompson took aim from fully 35 yards out, picking out the top corner with an audacious drive.
At the other end, Rangers had Micaela Lopes to thank for a goal-line clearance.
The danger wasn’t over, however. Slack marking allowed Kayla Love to restore City’s lead with a goal which, despite late pressure from the hosts, would prove the winner.
As a result Rangers now go into the Plate competition, with the draw due to take place later this week.
QPR: Caldwell, Lopes, Hennessey, Thompson, Hester, Searle (Smith 60), Critchley, Anu, Godden, Peck, Engels.
Goals: Critchley 6, Thompson 70.