Norwich City Women’s boss Martin Herdman praised his players for the “forward-thinking” approach they took in the Canaries’ convincing 6-1 home triumph over Haywards Heath Town. 

Having failed to win either of their first two home games of the season, City were desperate to earn maximum points from Sunday’s game at The Nest, and managed to do so in impressive fashion. 

Reflecting on a comprehensive victory, Herdman said: “It’s been a little time coming. We really needed it after Carrow Road; we obviously wanted to win that so much for the fans, but (I’m) really happy with today. 

“We got a high press on, and for one of the first times, it looked closer to what we want to look like out of possession. It’s taken us a while to get there. 

"They were really aggressive out of possession, but when they got it, they were just forward-thinking, and that’s the plan.  

“We just want to have dynamic and adaptable players who are all in for the team, who are going to press from the front, who are going to want to get on the ball and be brave. 

"That’s the closest we’ve lived to our identity today, I’m going to be honest.” 

Megan Todd, Natasha Snelling and Ellie Smith all scored for the hosts in a fantastic first-half display, but Rachel Lawrence was arguably City’s best player, with the young winger netting a hat-trick and also registering an assist. 

Discussing Lawrence’s electric performance, Herdman stated: “That’s Rachel for you, she’s full of energy, a bundle of joy to work with, and just a really exciting player. 

The Pink Un: Megan Todd takes on the Haywards Heath defence

“For someone like her who’s playing in that seven or 11 (wide position), you’ve got to be getting goals and assists. 

“She’s had some assists, and today was her day, she’s got a hat-trick, her first ever one she said. That’s amazing for her, and yeah, great to see that.” 

Lawrence combined nicely on City’s left flank with fellow summer recruit Lauren Tomlinson, who has featured in all of the Canaries’ six competitive matches so far this term. 

Having joined from Cambridge City in the off-season, Tomlinson revealed she has been blown away by the backing Norwich receive, commenting on the team’s recent Carrow Road outing in particular. 

“Honestly, (it was) absolutely fantastic,” she said. “The support from everyone was insane. 

“I said to the girls, I was amazed, some girl took off her croc and asked me to sign it! Just honestly so random, but the support was absolutely insane. 

“I think the support from Norwich as a city, you can tell that it’s built-in to their personalities, and it’s really great that people come and watch us as well as the men. 

“(Joining) from a small club, we never had a massive crowd, so it’s still something that I’m getting used to, but the support from everyone is absolutely incredible.” 

After playing her part in such a strong start to the new campaign, Tomlinson is hopeful that this City team can make it a season to remember. 

She stated: “I think we can go all the way. I think we’ve got every attribute in every player, we’ve got such a strong squad. 

“We’ve got 28 players that we pick from every single week, so we’ve got people to pick from if there’s strengths in certain teams that we come across. 

“We’ve absolutely got the capabilities to win this league.” 

The Pink Un: Alice Parker tightly marks the Haywards Heath player as Norwich press high

City have only played five league games so far, but their promotion credentials are likely to be tested over the next three weeks as they head on consecutive away trips to Actonians, Bournemouth and Queens Park Rangers respectively. 

“Actonians is an acid test next week,” said Herdman. “We’ve got to go away from home, we’ve got to play against a team that finishes top four, top five regularly in this division. 

“We’ve got to go and try and take the win there, but we’ll be methodical, we’ll see what we’re doing tactically this week (and) we’ll have a plan.” 

Norwich City: Quantrill, Parker (Larkins 69), Strauss, Flye, Tomlinson, Morran, Hailes (Shaw 56), Todd (c) (Daviss 69), Smith (Knights 78), Lawrence, Snelling (Cook 69).