By Darrell Allen (16/1/22)
Above: Norwich City lift the Norfolk Women’s Cup last season. They face the team they beat in the final, Mulbarton Wanderers in the Quarter-Finals today. Photo: Pink ‘Un/Archant.
This weekend sees the return of the ever-popular Norfolk County FA Women’s Cup as the competition reaches its Quarter Final stage.
The draw has been set up beautifully with a potential of four upsets and some real David against Goliath ties as the four Step Seven and Eight clubs from the Norfolk Women’s and girls league were drawn against Step Four and Five opposition. We take a look at each tie and the potential for an upset. These are previewed in order of which the games were drawn out by Norfolk County FA.
Norwich City vs Mulbarton Wanderers
The first tie sees a repeat of the 2021 final at The Nest as Step Four Norwich City from the FA Women’s National League Division One South-East face Norfolk Women’s and Girls League Division One leaders Mulbarton Wanderers.
This tie is fantastic because both clubs have superb mutual respect for each other and will both be looking forward to the afternoon ahead.
Norwich City goes into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw at home to London Seaward in the league and they were disappointed not to take all three points.
Norwich City also are currently in a position with a great bill of health with experienced heads like Millie Daviss, Anna Larkins, Kathyrn Stanley, Jodie Drake, and Natasha Snelling all involved.
Norwich head coach Shaun Howes is a man who takes the County Cup seriously and will want to retain the trophy.
Mulbarton will be up for it though and they will fight, scrap and play for each other and the shirt. You can never rule out Rebekah Lake for a goal either.
Expect entertainment but this should be a comfortable home win by the end.
Prediction: Norwich City 4-1 Mulbarton Wanderers
Caister vs King’s Lynn Town
Possibly the tie of the round is set to take place at The Allendale. I’ve been laughed at in private conversations for saying this but I genuinely believe that this will be a close game.
It has all the ingredients for a fantastic cup tie with Step Eight Caister welcoming Step Five King’s Lynn Town to their home parkland pitch.
A great setting for a game and King’s Lynn will be in for a warm welcome but when both players step over that white line, it will be a very exciting contest.
Sophie Gillett has her team well prepared having had the intelligence to arrange a short notice friendly against Shrublands last weekend to get crucial match minutes ahead of the King’s Lynn tie.
They will be well-coached and well organized and roared on by an enthusiastic bench and the presence of number one supporter and sponsor Dave Roots will give the girls an additional lift.
King’s Lynn Town has a wonderfully talented squad. They will be hoping to have a bigger squad available for this tie after going to Wymondham with just 12 players, a game they lost 4-1 to the Eastern Region Premier leaders.
This will be an awkward tie for King’s Lynn, but the experience of captain Tiffany Forshaw and vice-captain Jodie Hopkins will help massively in ensuring there are no mistakes here.
The tie for the neutral but Kings Lynn should have enough quality.
Prediction – Caister 1-2 Kings Lynn Town
Wroxham vs Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers
A very intriguing battle awaits at Trafford Park between Step Five Wroxham and Step Seven Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers.
Wroxham has not played since a 1-1 draw in the league at King’s Lynn Town on 21st November. Most recently the trip to Dunstable was called off last weekend.
Dussindale and Hellesdon are one of the Norfolk Women’s and Girls Leagues’ most talented teams but are underachieving so far this season despite only played 5 games.
Adrian Tink will have them up for the cup but they come up against a Wroxham side hungry for action and success.
Wroxham’s quality will see them through here and the mission will be to get through and get some confidence for the league games ahead.
There is also the hurt from 12 months ago when Mulbarton Wanderers from the same division as Dussindale and Hellesdon came to Trafford Park and knocked the Yachtswomen out with a 1-0 victory and went on to reach the final.
The players from that afternoon will want to put that right and be expected to put that right by a coach who only cares and wants the best for her players but only allows you to mess up once and will expect success.
It might be awkward in stages but expect no mistake from Rebecca Burton’s team this time around.
Prediction – Wroxham 3-1 Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers
Thetford Town vs Wymondham Town
Possibly the biggest David against Goliath tie of them all as Alex Guy is set to take Norfolk Football’s form team Wymondham Town to Mundford Road to face Step Seven Thetford Town from the Norfolk Women’s and Girls League Division One.
Wymondham Town continue their stroll towards the Eastern Region Premier Division Title and a place in the FA Women’s National League having secured another home win over King’s Lynn Town in their local derby last weekend winning 4-1.
Thetford Town will be looking forward to a great occasion after being unbeaten so far in the league having played seven, won six, and only drawn one. It will be a chance for the Thetford squad to test themselves against the very best in Norfolk and some of the Thetford players even went to see Wymondham in action vs King’s Lynn on Sunday.
Thetford will be organized by David Skipp and Stuart Terry and will relish the challenge with no pressure.
However, Alex Guy is a manager who respects the Norfolk Women’s Cup having reached the final in 2018, 2019, and 2020, and won the competition in 2018 and 2019. Wymondham Town will show Thetford the utmost respect and I expect to see all the Wymondham stars, Hannah Waters, Laura Nicholls, Katie Knights, Rachel Cossey, Chelsea Clarke and more to grace the Mundford Road turf. I expect them to be professional with class and quality which will see them victorious.
Prediction – Thetford Town 0-4 Wymondham Town
Four exciting ties and something for everyone but I fully expect the four giants of the Norfolk game Norwich City, Kings Lynn, Wroxham and Wymondham to all progress.
The weekend provides a challenge for all those four and they will hope to negotiate a safe passage to the Semi-Finals without embarrassment.
For Mulbarton Wanderers, Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers, Caister, and Thetford Town it is a chance to do the Norfolk Women’s and Girls League proud, make themselves proud, and cause an extraordinary upset.
Unlikely to happen but you never know in cup football. When it’s 11 vs 11 anything can happen.
Enjoy the weekend whether you are a player, supporter, sponsor, or volunteer.