GALLERY: Ipswich Town Ladies gain derby win
IPSWICH Town Ladies restored some much-needed East Anglian pride as they swept aside their Norwich City counterparts, 3-0, in the South East Combination last night.
Three first half goals – two of them fortuitous – all but killed the game off with the visitors lacking a cutting edge in the final third, especially in the second half.
A good crowd witnessed a feisty encounter at Ipswich Wanderers with the Blues’ ladies being led out by juniors from AFC Kesgrave.
Once the action began, those same juniors were on their feet, screaming and shouting for the entire first half as Ipswich tried their best to break down the Canries’ defence.
Jess Taylor, a tricky left winger, was proving to be a thorn in the side of City for whom full-back Naomi Cooper was often left exposed in defensive areas.
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The signs looked ominous when the powerful Michelle Allum broke at pace and thundered a right foot volley against the bar on nine minutes, with goalkeeper Fiona Coombes well off her line.
That lifted the hosts and within three minutes, they had taken the lead.
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A vicious shot from the edge of the area proved tricky for Coombes to hold and the ball bounced off her body and into the path of Aimee Harrison who snaffled up the rebound from close range.
Norwich were trying to utilise the pace of Cooper going forward but on most occasions, their attacking play broke down with Ipswich goalkeeper Alice Rayner collecting several hopeful through balls.
At 1-0, the visitors knew they had a chance on the break but they were left deflated on 34 minutes Lauren Cartwright was in the rioght place at the right time to walk the ball into the goal after the unfortunate Coombes’ parried save bounced straight into her path.
Two minutes before the break, Ipswich just about wrapped up the game and their fourth win out of six this season in the league.
Amanda Everett’s through ball was latched onto by Allum and the striker made no mistake, beating Coombes with a clinical, early finish from the edge of the box.
The second half saw Norwich prove more frugal in defence with centre-backs Kate Parsons and Sasha Diston in good form and the diminutive Cooper carrying on where she left off in the first half.
The Canaries’ main efforts were hopeful chances from distance and it was Town who almost scored again but a combination of Coombes and then Parsons, clearing off the line, denied substitute Rosi Webb from grabbing the hosts’ fourth of the evening.