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Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

Town ladies win an FA Cup classic on penalties

PUBLISHED: 16:18 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:18 04 December 2017

Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate winning their FA Cup second round penalty shoot-out at Stevenage on Sunday. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate winning their FA Cup second round penalty shoot-out at Stevenage on Sunday. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Archant

Women’s FA Cup Second Round

Stevenage Ladies 1

Ipswich Town Ladies 1 aet (Town won 3-0 on pens)

Ipswich Town Ladies battled through a dramatic FA Cup tie against Stevenage, claiming their place in the draw for the Third Round in a penalty shoot-out, writes Kieren Standley.

Ipswich Town Ladies midfielder Gemma Moore celebrates the winning penalty. Picture: ROSS HALLSIpswich Town Ladies midfielder Gemma Moore celebrates the winning penalty. Picture: ROSS HALLS

The game had finished 1-1 after extra-time following 120 minutes of tense end to end football.

Despite some early chances for both sides, it was the Hertfordshire club who took the lead. Amy Makewell brought the ball down inside the area, beating two Town defenders in the process, and fired high past Blues keeper Sian Fagg.

The visitors responded with a couple of decent chances late in the first half. First, Lindsey Cooper headed wide from Amanda Crump’s corner, then Natasha Thomas stabbed wide from Zoe Cossey’s low cross just before the break.

After the restart, the Tractor Girls came out of the traps flying, with Cooper again going close with a header, then Crump was unlucky to see her close range shot go wide after Stevenage stopper Katherine Long fumbled the ball in the six yard box.

Ipswich Town Ladies forward Natasha Thomas leaps highest to eqaulise for Ipswich. Picture: ROSS HALLSIpswich Town Ladies forward Natasha Thomas leaps highest to eqaulise for Ipswich. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Just after the hour mark, Ipswich manager Ralph Pruden made a tactical switch, deploying a 4-3-3 formation as opposed to the common 4-4-2 system the Blues usually operate with.

The decision to move Jordan Arnoup into a midfield three alongside Crump and Craddock, with Natasha Thomas leading the line on her own, seemed to be a tactical master stroke as Town started to get a foothold in the game.

Ipswich Town Ladies winger Zoe Cossey on the ball. Picture: ROSS HALLSIpswich Town Ladies winger Zoe Cossey on the ball. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Thomas would soon take the glory as she towered high to meet Crump’s corner and headed home with power, to deservedly level the game for the Blues.

The two sides couldn’t be separated in ninety minutes and so the game went to extra time.

Ipswich Town Ladies defender Harriet Petley. Picture: ROSS HALLSIpswich Town Ladies defender Harriet Petley. Picture: ROSS HALLS

And the hosts could have won it deep into second half had it not been for two outstanding saves from Ipswich custodian Fagg, who showed her agility to tip two dangerous high shots over the bar.

So the dreaded penalty shootout was needed. Fortunately for the Blues, the home side’s bottle seemed to have gone as they missed two of their penalties, with Fagg saving the other for Town.

Ipswich Town Ladies celebrate Natasha Thomas's goal. Picture: ROSS HALLSIpswich Town Ladies celebrate Natasha Thomas's goal. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Arnoup, Thomas and Moore all stepped up for Ipswich and held their nerve to calmly dispatch their spot kicks.

The Blues are next in action this Sunday as they return to league action at home against Haringey Borough at The Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, kick-off 2pm.

Ipswich Town Ladies Sophie Welton and Lindsey Cooper celebrates Town's goal. Picture: ROSS HALLSIpswich Town Ladies Sophie Welton and Lindsey Cooper celebrates Town's goal. Picture: ROSS HALLS

- Town will play Charlton at home in the Fourth Round.

Paul Hurst would like to keep Andre Dozzell at Ipswich Town rather than sending him out on loan but is anticipating a ‘frustrating period’ as they work to manage the midfielder’s body over the next few months.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst spoke to the media this lunchtime ahead of Saturday’s game with Aston Villa.

Cole Skuse knows he will have to be at the top of his game if he is to nail down a regular place in Paul Hurst’s midfield but insists he has never taken his starting spot for granted.

Gwion Edwards always believed he would make his way back up through the leagues.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst fears the Carabao Cup upset at Exeter means he will need to bring in more new players than he expected.

Ipswich Town legend Russell Osman has taken to Twitter to warn Blues’ boss Paul Hurst about the dangers of criticising his players in the wake of their Carabao Cup humbling at Exeter.

Paul Hurst will ensure his Ipswich Town players are told a few home truths following their penalty loss to Exeter.

Ipswich Town exited the Carabao Cup courtesy of a penalty shootout defeat at League Two side Exeter City tonight. STUART WATSON gives his snap observations.

Ipswich Town are out of the Carabao Cup at the first hurdle after going down 4-2 on penalties to Exeter City, following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.

Ipswich Town are in Carabao Cup action this evening as they travel to take on Exeter City at St James Park.

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