Ipswich Town keen to retain ‘Queens of Anglia’ status tonight

Ipswich Town players Lindsey Cooper, Zoe Cossey and Cassie Craddock celebrate during Saturday's 5-1

Ipswich Town players Lindsey Cooper, Zoe Cossey and Cassie Craddock celebrate during Saturday's 5-1 FA Cup win against Cambridge City. Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town Ladies manager Ralph Pruden is wary that Norwich City will be a ‘wounded animal’ in tonight’s East Anglian derby.

Town are very much the reigning Queens of Anglia following a thumping 5-0 win on enemy territory just four weeks ago.

The return fixture in South East Division One – the fourth tier of the women’s game – has come around quickly and the Blues are very much favourites given they are three points off the top and the Canaries are three points above the bottom.

Kick-off is 7.45pm at Felixstowe & Walton United’s home of the Goldstar Ground, with Pruden saying: “The East Anglian derby is always a big game for us and it’s certainly a match that has that extra intensity.

“These are the matches we all look out for as soon as the fixtures come out and these are the games which draw extra interest from other people in inside and outside football club.

“You look at how comprehensively we beat them last time and where the two teams are in the table and people may be expecting us to just turn up and win, but there is absolutely no way we are taking anything for granted.

“They’ll be a bit of a wounded animal. It’s a case of underestimate them at your peril because they are not just going to lie down and accept another defeat to their rivals.

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“I’m fully expecting them to come back at us really hard and we have to make sure we are ready for that.

“We played really well from the first minute to the last up there and we’re going to have to do so again.”

Pruden continued: “I do think the league is incredibly even this season. In previous years there has always been one stand out team that you knew would claim that one promotion spot, but that’s not the case this year. I think there are three or four capable of winning it and I can see it going right to the wire.”

He added: “We don’t get many come and watch our games, which is shame. We’d love to increase our crowds and grow our fanbase.

“The women’s game is getting a lot more recognition nationally and it would be great to see that filter down to us. What I would say to people is that you always tend to see entertaining games and plenty of goals. There’s a nice new clubhouse at Felixstowe now and it would be great if people came along and supported us in a big game.”