Mulbarton Belles 7-0 Thetford Town
Above: Thetford Town’s Abbie Corbyn (7) faces the action at Mulbarton’s Mulberry Park on Sunday. Photo: Darrell Allen.
By Darrell Allen (15/2/22)
Blustery conditions welcomed both Mulbarton Belles and Thetford Town at Mulberry Park for this latest Step Seven encounter in the Norfolk Women and Girls League Division One.
Mulbarton came into the game full of confidence as they have had 10 wins from their opening 10 in the league and are clear favourites to take the title.
Thetford arrived on the back of an abandonment last weekend at Bungay but was encouraged by recent performances despite losing three games before that.
Thetford travelled with a depleted side missing several key players in defence. A squad of 12 assembled with Amy Skipp the sole substitute for David Skipp’s team.
The pitch at Mulberry Park was in good condition considering the Mulbarton men’s team had played on it the day before.
Mulbarton as expected started the game on the front foot, but early pressure was comfortably dealt with by Thetford Town keeper Lydia Ward.
Ellie Hunter then tested Thetford with a close-range shot but this was also comfortably dealt with by Ward.
After dealing with the early pressure, Thetford then began to believe in themselves with Melissa Boulton and Chelsea Page linking up well but no end product for their efforts.
Mulbarton then ramped up the pressure, Melissa Boulton having to tackle and clear the ball from the feet of Sophie Jermy and out for a corner.
The corners were cleared, but Mulbarton got the second ball in and Annie Smith backheeled it towards goal but Lydia Ward was there to deal with comfortably.
After an action-packed start, Mulbarton took the lead. A wonderful ball through to Rebekah Lake who produced a brilliant floated finish over the top of Lydia Ward.
Mulbarton knew there were more goals here for the taking, but Thetford Town stood firm with Dayna Howard and Abbie Corbyn tracking back superbly getting in the way of some key Mulbarton attacks.
Further Mulbarton chances came and went, a corner was headed over the bar, Vicky McNorton lashed a shot against the advertising boards.
Sophie Jermy then doubled Mulbarton’s lead after good play and finished well into the bottom corner.
Mia Bambury and Sausha Levy-Twomey in the Thetford defence were doing a great job rallying everyone together as the visitors dug deep for each other in what was always going to be a difficult game.
That was demonstrated in abundance by Lydia Ward who soldiered on for the cause with a bad back and superbly denied Rebekah Lake from the left-hand side.
The third goal came when Sophie Jermy was denied by Lydia Ward, but Vicky McNorton was on hand to finish well.
Sophie Jermy continued to have many chances cruelly denied twice in quick succession by the post and Lydia Ward.
Abbie Corbyn did her best down the Thetford wing, but this was always going to be an afternoon when the visitors were restricted from an attacking perspective, but none more so than with the depleted defence Thetford had who were working so hard to keep Mulbarton out.
Rebekah Lake fired a golden chance wide, one that nine times out of 10 she would usually find the net with.
Sophie Jermy also had another chance but that was cleared by Dayna Howard. Ellie-Mae Davies also cleared a chance off the line.
Vicky McNorton was on hand to make it 4-0 shortly after.
Thetford ended the half extremely well forcing a good scramble from a Hannah Rogers corner but this was cleared by Mulbarton who then went on a three-pronged attack but Vicky McNorton fired it over the bar.
At halftime, David Skipp rallied the Thetford troops and reminded them just how well they were doing, and told the girls to enjoy the second half with a smile on their face. They absolutely listened to this, each and every one of them.
Thetford started the second half in wonderful fashion Chelsea Page and Abbie Corbyn linking up well but there was no end product and Mulbarton saw a good move out for a goal kick.
Thetford continued the excellent pressure, and Abbie Corbyn was next to fire over the bar. For the first 10 minutes of the second half, Thetford was on fire and had their illustrious hosts firmly on the back foot.
There was to be no panic from Martin Francis and his team who remained calm and made it 5-0 when Rebekah Lake finished well and fired across Lydia Ward and in. Meat and drink for a striker of her talents.
Thetford remained confident and continued to play for each other and the shirt. Melissa Boulton fired over the bar.
This was replicated at the other end of the pitch when Rebekah Lake fired over in similar fashion.
Dayna Howard had to come off injured for Thetford and it was wonderfully kind to see Mulbarton physio Grace Barley come straight over and into the Thetford bench to volunteer and provide Dayna with the medical attention she needed on an injured arm and helped make her as comfortable as possible. A superb gesture and one that should be rightfully applauded.
The final stages of the game saw Mulbarton add two more goals. Meg Anderton shot wide before Lants Griffith finished well for 6-0.
Laura Hedtke rounded off the scoring making it 7-0.
Sophie Jermy was to miss two further chances. First, a sitter from close range before Lydia Ward saved well from another opportunity.
There was time for Laura Hedtke to head wide before a late Thetford half chance from Chelsea Page.
Despite the scoreline, Thetford Town can take so many positives from this match/ Twelve players came to Mulberry Park and played their hearts out and David Skipp can be very proud of his team.
Teams: MULBARTON BELLES: Anderson, Smith, Belsey, Lincoln, Belsey, Hedtke, McNorton, Hunter, Griffith, Lake, Jermy. Substitutes: Smith, Jenkins, Mungham-Grey, Anderton, Cursons.
Scorers: Lake 2, McNorton 2, Jermy, Griffiths, Hedtke.
THETFORD TOWN: Ward, Bullett, Mae-Davies, Howard, Levy-Twomey, Bambury, Corbyn, Rogers, Boulton, Page, Howard, Substitute: Skipp.