The ACN Match Review – Q P R (h)

28/03/24

Isn’t it lovely when the women’s team come to Carrow Road? Even though a win wasn’t ours this time, Lucy Chen witnessed enough thrills to make it a match to remember.

The line-up

You get some, you give some – Megan Todd missed out but Holly Kennard returned to the matchday squad. Against a tough opponent in QPR, Scott Emmerson opted for a solid 3-4-2-1, with Rachel Lawrence and Ellie Smith floating behind Tash Snelling as dual tens.

The atmosphere

A crowd of just under 6000 turned up at Carrow Road, beating last season’s record. It took some time for the stadium to warm up but when it did, the atmosphere was amazing, especially later on in the second half when we really went for the winner. The players were giving it everything they got on the pitch and the fans were right there with them.

Hurrah moments

RACHEL LAWRENCE THE WOMAN YOU ARE YOU ROCK MY F***ING WORLD GIVE HER THE PUSKAS NOW!!!!!!!

That was some goal Rachel Lawrence scored in the 31st minute – striking from the centre circle and lobbing the ball past the goalkeeper into the back of the net to get us level. Goal of the season right there. Thank you Flo Allen for signing her.

Also, in the 89th minute when Ellie Searle rounded Sarah Quantrill and got herself through on goal. My heart jumped to my throat and I let out a string of words I’m not allowed to say here… but thank heavens for Hope Strauss, who cleared the ball off the line.

Last but certainly not least, when Lauren Tomlinson took a throw-in right in front of me. Wow. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Boooooo moments

…that offside flag. Need I say more? 

Hero(es) of the match

I’m gonna go with Rachel Lawrence, who in my humble opinion should be given the Freedom of the City and a statue outside Carrow Road. Maybe an MBE on top of it. No amount of superlatives can do her goal justice, but our number 24contributed far more than just a goal. She was lively throughout the game, running at defenders and crafting out chances, and I can honestly say that she’s impressed me every time I’ve watched her this season. Her player of the match award is well-deserved.

Another player who stood out on Sunday was the super sub Holly Kennard. She’s been a revelation in the second half of the campaign, putting out a good performance every time she took to the pitch – and Sunday was no exception. She was brought on for Lauren Tomlinson in the 65th minute as we chased that elusive winner. By all rights, she got it late in the day but was r̶o̶b̶b̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶f̶e̶r̶e̶e̶ unfortunately denied by the offside flag. Regardless, this doesn’t take away from her performance. We have a real talent on our hands and I’m very excited to see how far she goes.

Our post-match takeaway

There’s a lot I could say, but I think there was only one thing on everyone’s mind after the full-time whistle. We needed all three points to stay in the driving seat in the title race, and the result fell short of that. However, we should remember that at the start of the season, very few seriously expected the side to challenge for the title. I certainly didn’t. It’s an incredible achievement in itself to be neck-to-neck in the title race with a side that’s finished 15 points above us last season, and one result does not erase all the progress that’s been made this season.

You can’t control what you can’t control, and the important thing to do now is focus on this Sunday’s game with AFC Wimbledon. Win the game, then go from there.

It’s always an incredible occasion when the game is played at Carrow Road. Later on, in the second half especially, I felt as if the players and the supporters really became one as we gave everything we got chasing the winner. I saw great promise; I definitely think the club can build on Sunday and create even better atmospheres in the future. I’m already hyped to be back at Carrow Road for the County Cup final.

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