Hatters Ladies finish with defeat to Norwich

Luton Town Ladies slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich City Ladies in their final FA Women's Premier League South East Division One natch of the season on Sunday.

Saturday, 27th May 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm

Boss Nikki Baker made two changes with Jess McKay and Jodie Southby in for Jodie Bellinger and Dionne Manning as Luton had the perfect opportunity to go ahead after seven minutes when McKay latched on to a short back pass but her cross just eluded striker Joanne Rutherford.

On the half hour, Hatters took the lead as Nicola Henman’s superb pass found McKay and she raced into the area, before side-stepping the keeper to score.

The Yellows looked dangerous from set-pieces and almost caught Luton out six minutes later with a low free kick from Paige Shorten that Bryony Radley flicked on but Angelika Kopec made an excellent save.

Town should have extended their lead before the break however City keeper Fiona Coombes made two exceptional saves to deny Erica Byron and Henman.

Norwich came out battling in the second half and equalised just two minutes in as Kyla Love teed up Ebony Wiseman who poked her shot beyond Kopec and into the bottom corner.

The Yellows then went in front 11 minutes later as Aimee Durrant crossed for Wiseman who tapped into the corner of the net from close range.

After the game, Baker said: “The last three games we played against teams all battling relegation so we expected them to put up a fight.

“It was a game of two halves. The first half I thought was some of the best football we have played all season.

“We moved the ball very well, with pace and tempo, one touch at times.

“We should have been two or three up had it not of been for a couple of very good saves.

“But the second half we allowed them to get at us and seemed to lose all the confidence we had.”

Hatters finished the season in fifth place as Baker added: “The past three seasons we have finished fourth, fourth and fifth so we have proved we are one of the top teams.

“We had a big rebuild of the squad at the beginning of the season and we signed several young players who have come a long way.

“We finished behind four teams who have a budget and some sort of financial input so I am proud of the girls for that achievement.

“We need to strengthen in a couple of areas but I fully believe in the squad we have.

“We just need to become a little less complacent in games, use our experience more and be more dangerous in front of goal.”