Ipswich Ladies 5-2 Brantham Ladies
With the first team’s fixture at Cambridge United being called off, Sunday afternoon gave the Development Squad the chance to provide the highlight of the weekend for Ipswich Town Ladies, and they did just that with a 5-2 victory against Brantham Ladies.
Match Report by Tom Mortlock
Despite the end result, the match wasn’t entirely comfortable for the home side, particularly as they conceded within the opening 2 minutes. Brantham forward Kirsten Hutchings accelerated beyond the Town defence to get herself clean through on goal. Her poked effort took a slight deflection, before trickling agonisingly over the line via the inside of the post.
Ipswich struggled to gain a foothold in the match during the opening exchanges, but as the contest passed the quarter of an hour mark, they gradually grew into it.
After 18 minutes, Town found the equaliser. Destiny Minors drove the ball across the area for Emily Steward to steer home from a short distance out.
By this point, the Blues were looking much more assured and their second arrived five minutes later from the penalty spot. After Grace Bowman had been pushed to the ground in the box, Steward confidently stepped up to convert the opportunity, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way in the process.
In a frenetic first half, the away side then responded themselves with a penalty of their own. Lucy Dunnett showed just as much poise to calmly tuck it away. 2-2 with less than half an hour played.
As the match neared the interval, it seemed as though that would be the end of the scoring for the first half, but even that wasn’t to be the case. Town retook the lead three minutes before the break through midfielder Sophie Leming. She burst into the area and floated the ball towards the back post, where it narrowly found its way into the corner of the net. It was unclear if it was an intended shot or cross, but Ipswich didn’t care as they held the advantage after 45 minutes.
In the second half, the game settled and clear-cut chances were at a premium due in part to the stop-start nature of the match, with injuries occurring for both sides. However, Town ended the game the stronger and gave themselves a two-goal cushion with fifteen minutes remaining. Leming rose highest to nod in Bowman’s delivery from 6 yards out to put the result beyond doubt.
With five minutes left on the clock, Leming completed her hat-trick to make it 5-2 and round off the scoring. Her third was the pick of the bunch, as she received the ball 20 yards out and drilled it low into the far corner with her right foot.
It was a convincing win in the end for Ipswich, although Brantham’s performance in the first half severely tested the home side and the outcome could have been very different. The result extends Town’s unbeaten run at the top of the table to 10 games.
N Thomas, Greeves
N Thomas, Greeves