Darrell Allen provides us with an in-depth report of the tie between Thetford Town and Wymondham Town and rounds up the other three quarter-final ties (18/1/22).
Above: Thetford Town celebrates their equalizer against Wymondham Town. Photo: Hannah Parnell.
Thetford Town 1-6 Wymondham Town
A town full of pride on a day full of joy.
Excitement was the word of the morning as Norfolk Women’s Cup Quarter Final day arrived and the prospect of the superbly talented Wymondham Town visiting Mundford Road was enough to get the adrenaline going.
I love my trips to Thetford Town which are always done on a lovely train trip which is 35 minutes from Norwich. It was a glorious day as I arrived in Thetford at 11.35am ahead of the 1.30pm kick-off and made the short walk across to Mundford Road.
Emma and Steve, two brilliant volunteers at Thetford Town who run the clubhouse were already in and the Wymondham Town squad arrived shortly before midday.
Head coach Alex Guy as ever was taking the Norfolk Women’s Cup extremely seriously bringing all of his available talented squad to Mundford Road.
This is a man who treats his match preparation the same whatever the opposition and whatever the occasion and Sunday was no different which you can only applaud and say thanks to Alex Guy and his team for which showed Thetford Town incredible respect.
The Thetford Town squad arrived in an equally upbeat mood and looked forward to the occasion ahead. After recent COVID and illness in both camps, it was fantastic to see both teams back to reasonably full strength and an exciting contest awaited as Step Seven Thetford Town took on Step Five Wymondham Town. An impossible task on paper.
Wymondham Town went as full strength as possible with Becca Russell their free-kick specialist the most noticeable absentee. Otherwise, it was all the usual stars who are strolling towards winning the Eastern Region Premier Division with relative ease, captained by Rachel Cossey.
The game got underway in bright blue skies with an excited crowd. The veo camera towering over everyone and Hannah Parnell who is a respected local photographer positioned on halfway to capture this big occasion.
The first half was a special 45 minutes of football as Wymondham came out of the blocks firing from the off. Natasha Youngs danced and glided her way down the wing before firing a stunning ball across which was cleared.
Wymondham Town continued to turn up the pressure and got a deserved lead when Katie Knights came through the park as confident as ever on the ball with her dancing feet and finished well to give the visitors the lead.
There was fear it could be a difficult afternoon for Thetford but the response that was to come was absolutely extraordinary.
The home side went immediately on the attack and forced a corner. Melissa Boulton took it but it came to nothing. Natasha Youngs then went on the break for the visitors but was stopped in her tracks by Sausha Levy-Twomey, the Thetford captain.
Joy followed for Thetford Town as they continued to believe in themselves and the ball fell to Chelsea Page who slotted well into the bottom corner. Mundford Road erupted as the scores were level after eight minutes.
Thetford Town believed and grew in confidence as Becky White got control of the ball but the chance went wide.
Wymondham Town needed to get matters under control and Alex Guy knew as he could be seen barking instructions from the touchline as a confident start had turned into a challenging situation for the talented visitors.
Thetford Town continued to hold their own very little happened in the next phase of the game and 20 minutes passed with a big tick so far for David Skipp and his team. The next target was to get in level at half time but that was going to take a performance of incredible courage and determination from Thetford and they duly delivered.
Wymondham Town went up the gears after finally getting back into their rhythm with Katie Knights and Hannah Waters going close in a period of relentless pressure. Half an hour came, Wymondham was the better side but Thetford Town continued to stall their illustrious opponents and began to believe again.
Abbie Corbyn was running up and down all over the place and trying her best to make things happen all over the pitch. Ellie Mae-Davies made an amazing tackle to deny Wymondham Town a goal in the best piece of defending I’ve seen for some time.
Laura Nicholls tried to get in on things but she was met by Lydia Ward in the Thetford goal who was on a mission to keep Wymondham out for as long as possible. Katie Knights went close again but it wasn’t to be and Thetford Town got to the interval level thanks to heroic leadership from Sausha Levy-Twomey and Rachel Lynch. It was an incredible first half and one to remember for the hosts.
The second half got underway with a spirited start from Thetford but the greater fitness and experience of Wymondham Town was expected to prevail.
Thetford Town’s brave resistance was broken on the 53rd minute when a Chelsea Clarke corner was diverted in by the unfortunate Chloe Webb into her own net. Abbie Corbyn was re-introduced and went close from a free kick as Thetford responded well again to going behind.
Wymondham Town went through the gears again and half-time substitute Francesca Catchpole scored a stunning goal to make it 1-3 and put the visitors in command for the first time in the game. Laura Nicholls was on hand to add the fourth and Francesca Catchpole made it 1-5 a few minutes afterward.
A brave and spirited Thetford Town continued to play their game and give everything against a talented Wymondham Town. It was however super-sub Francesca Catchpole who had the final say and completed her hat trick and a fine individual performance.
Thetford bravely battled on guided by David Skipp and Stuart Terry from the bench as they proudly did the town and themselves proud.
Verdict – A rare Football match where every single person is smiling at the end. Wymondham Town was absolute class before, during, and after the game in their respect for Thetford Town. Rachel Cossey came to the Thetford bench before doing anything else at full time to congratulate the Thetford team on their performance. The whole Wymondham Town team then stayed behind after the game and enjoyed a drink in the clubhouse and helped support Thetford Town FC which was much appreciated.
From a Thetford perspective, this was a proud day, a great moment when Chelsea Page equalized and held the talented Wymondham until the 53rd minute before an unfortunate own goal saw Wymondham on their way and an inspired Francesca Catchpole hat trick and Laura Nicholls was the difference.
Everyone enjoyed the day. It was a wonderful sporting occasion and everyone connected to Thetford Town and Wymondham Town should be very proud of themselves. A great advert for the Norfolk Women’s Cup.
Teams: THETFORD TOWN: Ward, Webb, Mae-Davies, Hardie, Lynch, 6: Levy-Twomey, Corbyn, Musgrove, White, Boulton, Page. Substitutes: Richardson, Skipp, Smith.
WYMONDHAM TOWN squad: Pearce, Newcombe, Croft, Cossey, Youngs, Clarke, Catchpole, Waters, Nicholls, Hawkins, Knights, Stretch, Codman.
Referee: Jaden Lister.
In the days three other ties, it was a day to be proud for the Norfolk Women’s and Girls League as Step Seven Mulbarton Wanderers ripped up the script of the competition by drawing 2-2 at Step Four Norwich City and winning 4-3 on penalties in a dramatic afternoon at The Nest. The team will now be hoping to reach the final for the second consecutive season. Martin Francis showing his cup pedigree once more on another famous day for the growth and development of Mulbarton Wanderers.
That wasn’t the end of shocks as Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers also from Step Seven bravely held Step Five Wroxham to a 0-0 draw before winning on penalties 3-1 at Trafford Park.
In the day’s other tie it was Step Five King’s Lynn Town who progressed with a professional and quality display winning 6-0 at Step Eight Caister. Ella Gavagan and Amy Cropley with a brace each and other goals from Amy Magnus and captain Tiffany Forshaw.
Congratulations to Wymondham Town, Mulbarton Wanderers, Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers, and King’s Lynn Town. Good luck to all four teams for the Semi-Finals!