Dons disappointed by draw at Norwich

Norwich City 1-1 AFC Wimbledon

by George Jones – AFC Wimbledon

Above: Action from yesterday’s game between Norwich City and AFC Wimbledon. Photo: Emily Topping.

AFC Wimbledon left Norfolk disappointed after a draw away against Norwich City after the hosts levelled at the death in the tier four FA Women’s National League Division One South-East yesterday. 

A soaring headed goal by birthday celebrant and captain Hannah Billingham was not enough, as the Canaries scored a last-minute equaliser to deny the visitors all three points.

The weather continued to cause havoc with fixtures across the country, but with this game being played at Norwich City’s The Nest, with a 4G pitch, it was one of the few going ahead.

Going into the game, AFC Wimbledon we had only played one game in the last six weeks and lacked the clinical edge that had served them well before the winter break, and so the South-West Londoners failed to capitalise on several good opportunities.

Neither team managed to get a hold of the game in the first half, but both had opportunities to test the keepers. Ashlee Hincks had stand-in City keeper Jess Harper make several saves, and Norwich’s Kathryn Stanley forced Faye Baker into producing the save of the day from a close-range effort.

The Dons nearly took the lead 25 minutes into the game, as Steph Mann fired off a left-footed shot from long range, but the City keeper managed to get her palms to it.

It looked as though the first half would end goalless, but in the ninth minute of injury time, Emma Plewa sent a cross into the box which Billingham perfectly headed into the Norwich goal.

The second half saw a much more dominant Dons. Emily Donovan looked set to double the visitors’ lead, before her shot was scrambled off the line by a City defender on the hour mark. The Norwich keeper then denied Hincks a chance to extend the lead 75 minutes into the game.

In the 89th minute, Wimbledon were made to pay for not taking advantage of the chances, as Norwich’s Natasha Snelling scored an equaliser after a goalmouth scramble. The hosts came close to stealing all three points in injury time, but were denied by an outstanding goal-line clearance from Kelly Highman.

Speaking after the game, Dons’ manager Kevin Foster said: “I think the first half showed we haven’t had games. We have had one game in six weeks and we looked like it, we weren’t ourselves and we were poor. In the second half we were much better.”

AFC Wimbledon are back in action Sunday 29th January, when we welcome Championship side Charlton Athletic in the 4th Round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. The game is being played at Carshalton Athletic FC with a 3pm kickoff.

Teams: NORWICH CITY: Harper, Johnston (Croft), Parker, Larkins, Todd, Smith, Snelling, Stanley (Symonds 59), Knights, Flye, Morran. Subs not used: Russell, Gooding, Cook.

AFC WIMBLEDON: Baker, Russell, Brooks, Highman, Billingham, Mann, Stow, Donovan (Taylor), Plewa (Newman), Hincks, Dorey (Siber). Unused Subs: Chloe Sampson, Bath.

Attendance: 330.

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