[H]igher league Norton Ladies eventually prevailed in this FA Cup tie but only after Penrith had taken them to extra time in an epic encounter.
Norton Ladies 1-1 (3-2 AET) Penrith AFC Ladies
Norton pressed from the start of the game however Penrith had prepared for this and were happy to defend deeply and play on the counter attack. Norton had their chances but Penrith proved resilient and frustrated Norton.
Penrith were having joy on the counter attack too with Nat Broad getting behind the Norton defensive line and threatening on several occasions.
After a prolonged delay for an injury to Penrith youngster Livvy Johnston it was Penrith who regained their composure the quickest and Nat Broad broke clear of the Norton defence and fired Penrith into the lead.
Into the 2nd half Norton laid siege on the Penrith goal. Penrith repelled attack after attack but gradually the constant pressure was taking its toll.
Norton eventually got a deserved equaliser in the 66th min when a superb cross from the right found the Norton striker free at the back post and she headed home.
Norton now looked odds on to win the tie and went close on several occasions however Penrith showed grit and determination to maintain the equilibrium.
In the final minute of normal time Penrith had a golden opportunity to win the tie when Hannah Coulthard was set free on the left. She lifted the ball over the advancing keeper however her effort drifted agonisingly over the cross bar.
In the 1st period of extra time Norton continue their onslaught on the Penrith goal. Penrith appeared to be coping well with the pressure however in the 100th minute the ball fell invitingly for the Norton midfielder and from fully 40 yards she fired the ball into the top corner. This stunned Penrith and they conceded a soft goal 2 mins later to trail 1-3 at half time in extra time.
Penrith now had nothing to lose and committed players to attack on the final period of extra time. Nat Broad had 3 good chances and hit the cross bar while defender Charlotte Smith forced the ball home from close range to reduce the arrears but it was too little too late.
FT 3-2 AET
Penrith can take much from the performance but it’s Norton who progress after a deserved victory.
Penrith : Jones, Nelson, Nutter, C.Smiith, McCormick, S.Smith, Hopton, Johnston(Fawkes), Coulthard, Brierley, Broad
This Sunday Penrith travel to face Leigh RMI in a league fixture.