December 5, 2023

Norwich City Women’s coach praises ‘Warriors’ after Hashtag United Cup win

Eastern Daily Press: Lauren Tomlinson in action for Norwich City Women during their win over Hashtag United

Reflecting on a memorable victory, Herdman said: “They say the FA Cup does magical things. It’s my first FA Cup win to be honest, I’ve never been in one, so it was unbelievable.”

“We had a specific plan against Hashtag. They are at a higher level in terms of the league, (and) I really believe they will be a second-tier team next season.”

“If you set up a plan every week, you just have to hope something will happen, and with Smithy (Eli Smith) scoring so early, we had something to hold on to.

“We didn’t control the ball today, it wasn’t about that. We had details about when we kept him out, where we wanted to keep him out, how far we wanted to take him.

“Honestly, the girls today were warriors. That’s the only word I can say.”

As well as their place in the next round, City also earned their third clean sheet of the season against Hashtag, prompting Herdman to praise experienced goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill.

Eastern Daily Press: Sarah Quantrill produced a strong performance between the posts to deny the visitors

“That’s what Quants do,” he said. “She’s a calming influence and I think she made a great save. She caught everything off her line. Everything seems easier for her, but it’s actually not.

“And I think the girls turn around and see that and say, ‘Oh, we have Sarah there.’ So, they know that if they kick and direct everything in front of her, if it goes through them, they will do it.” You’ve got an absolutely incredible player.

“She’s played at Championship and Women’s Football League level. Now that was a little while ago, but she still has that quality.”

Seri helped Fly lead a resolute defensive structure against Quantrill, who felt City’s preparation in the lead-up to the clash was key to their win.

“We knew we were going to be defending a lot more than we were used to playing against teams in our division,” she said.

“But we trained in the penalty area, with the midfield and five players, sitting down and choosing our moments, when to go forward and when to advance. We did it right today. That game plan was executed very well. Well by everyone.

Eastern Daily Press: Siri Fly's outstretched leg wins the ball

“It was a mental game today. I didn’t run a lot, but (we knew) they were going to have those moments, and you have to be ready for those moments, and I think everyone was.”

After losing to a higher division opponent in the FA Cup last season, Fly revealed how pleased City were to pull off the upset.

The centre-back said: “Last year, when we went to Burnley in the third round, we failed to win, and this time we didn’t. It means a lot, and it’s definitely the proudest moment I’ve had.” In a Norwich City shirt so far.

“(We’ll) take it game by game, just see who we play. I know there will be some lower level teams out there, but again, it was a tough draw and we did the job today.” .

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“We’ll see who we get and then we’ll put together a game plan towards this team. We won’t be too excited about the road to Wembley yet.”

Norwich City (5-2-2-1): Quantrill; Parker, Larkins (c), Fly, Strauss, Tomlinson; Moran, knights; Todd Smith. Snoring. Unused subs: Davies, Simmonds, Hales, Shaw, Cook, Burnett.