Ipswich Town Ladies crush rivals Norwich in East Anglian derby
- Credit: Archant
FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One Ipswich Town Ladies 5 Norwich City Ladies 1 Ipswich Town Ladies recorded a much-needed victory over local rivals Norwich City at the Goldstar Ground, running out 5-1 winners in an enthralling contest, writes Tom Mortlock.
A brace from Roxanne Small and a neat finish from Sophie Welton had put the Blues 3-0 up at the break, before Natasha Snelling pulled one back just after the interval for the visitors.
It would not be enough for the Canaries however, as Joyce Mlambo and Natasha Thomas rounded off the scoring for Town.
Ipswich flew out of the traps in the opening exchanges, finding themselves 2-0 up within a quarter of an hour.
Small gave her side the lead when she pounced on the loose ball after Jade Henry’s initial effort had been saved.
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The second soon followed, as Henry turned provider, sweeping the ball to the back post for Welton to tuck home.
On the stroke of half time, Town went further ahead. Small was again alert to some indecision in the Norwich defence, capitalising on an under-hit back pass to slot the ball into the far corner of the net.
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After the break, the away side appeared rejuvenated and quickly registered on the scoresheet themselves. Snelling nodded in a whipped free-kick from the left to give her side hope of salvaging something from the match.
City could easily have achieved a result, as they created numerous chances over the next 20 minutes.
Town rode their luck, before heroics from keeper Leanne Smith maintained their two-goal advantage. With the ball travelling towards the net, she managed to shift her momentum to miraculously lay a glove on it, diverting it away from danger.
Despite Norwich’s dominance for much of the second half, the Blues were able to weather the storm and secured the three points with ten minutes remaining. Mlambo powerfully headed in a Hollie Clement corner to release the tension.
Town completed the scoring with a wonderfully worked fifth as the final whistle approached. Zoe Cossey stood up an inviting delivery into the box which Thomas smashed in emphatically to bring a great night for Town to a close.
The Blues sit ninth in the 12-team league after 20 games, with Norwich struggling in 11th place.