Ipswich Town Ladies' title dreams die with defeat to MK Dons
PUBLISHED: 15:52 14 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:52 14 March 2018
FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One
Ipswich Town 0
MK Dons 1
Ipswich Town Ladies’ hopes of winning the league title are all but over as they fell to a heart-breaking late defeat at the hands of MK Dons, at The Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.
Charley Clarke’s stunning strike with three minutes to go was enough to see the visitors return to Bedfordshire with a massive three points and ironically, hand the title to bitter rivals AFC Wimbledon.
The Blues had the better of the early chances, with Jordan Arnoup going closest with a whipped effort from distance, after the Dons failed to clear Amanda Crump’s corner.
MK perhaps had the best chance of the first-half, with Town keeper Sian Fagg called into action to excellently tip Laura Mills’ ambitious heel-flick volley onto the bar.
The visitors came out of the blocks flying in the second-half and had several chances to break the deadlock within a minute of the restart.
Mills and Alice Hughes both went close, but found Fagg and the post at their mercy. Mills then had another chance just a minute later, but dragged her shot wide after beating Town defender Harriet Petley one-on-one.
Town started to grow back into the game on the hour mark as Natasha Thomas scooped the ball over the top to Crump, but the skipper could only hack wide under pressure.
The Blues started to become frustrated in their attempts to score and failed to test Dons keeper’ Sophie Schults for the remainder of the game, with the only half chances of note seeing Thomas and Cassie Craddock both sailing shots over the bar from the edge of the area.
The visitors however would claim the spoils in the late stages of the game with a moment of sheer quality. Clarke picked the ball up 25-yards from goal after Town failed to clear their lines, letting fly with a stupendous effort into the top right corner, despite the best efforts of Fagg in the Ipswich goal.
The sucker punch turned out to be the only difference between the two sides as the Dons left Suffolk with all three points.
Despite the league title now being out of reach, the Blues can possibly still clinch promotion with a second place finish, with the proposed league re-structure between the Women’s Super League and Women’s Premier League still under discussion.
The Tractor Girls return to action this Sunday in the semi-final of the Suffolk FA Women’s County Cup against Ipswich Wanderers.