Captain Wilson nets winner as Tractor Girls stay top
- Credit: Ross Halls
Town captain Blue Wilson scored a sensational first-half winner as the Blues continued their excellent start to their FAWNL Southern Premier Division campaign with a 1-0 victory over Crawley Wasps at the Goldstar Ground yesterday.
The Tractor Girls' skipper, who later went off injured, netted the game's only goal with a moment of pure quality on the half-hour mark before her teammates saw out the game with a resilient display.
Crawley started the brighter and had the game's first real chance with a towering header from a dangerous corner but Town goalkeeper Sarah Quantrill was right behind it.
Despite being on top early doors, Crawley looked vulnerable defensively, with Town posing a huge threat on the break through Sophie Peskett.
The Blues' soon started to grow into the game and started to create chances, with Maria Boswell's fizzing cross unlucky not to be turned in by the arriving blue shirts.
However, the Tractor Girls soon went ahead through yet another goal of the season contender.
After picking the ball up from Natasha Thomas just behind the halfway line, Wilson glided through the Crawley midfield, held off a challenge and fired a sensational strike past the fully outstretched Megan Lynch from 25-yards.
The goal lifted Town and they could've doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time but after Peskett looked almost certain to score after robbing the defender and racing through on goal, the Blues' winger fired her shot straight at the stranded Lynch.
Peskett wasn't phased by her miss and was straight back into the heart of the action after the break, laying the ball off for Thomas to force the goalkeeper into a diving save just three minutes after the restart.Town went close once again just after the hour-mark, with Peskett's squared cross begging to be turned home by Eloise King but neither her or Thomas were able to meet the dangerous delivery.
Soon after, Wilson's afternoon took a turn for the worse as she suffered what appeared to be a nasty looking knee-injury.
The Tractor Girls' skipper was carried to the sideline but eventually had to be stretchered back to the dressing room and taken to hospital for evaluation.
Town rallied for their injured captain and began to dig in against a Crawley side who were starting to find themselves again.
It was the visitors who finished the game the stronger but were unable to test Quantrill in the Ipswich net as the Blues' defence held very firm in the latter stages of the game.
Joe Sheehan's side held on to secure the three points, with the Tractor Girls remaining top of the table on goal difference ahead of Portsmouth and Southampton after two games.
The Tractor Girls return to action tomorrow away to Gillingham before completing a busy week by hosting Cardiff City at the Goldstar Ground on Sunday.
Town: Quantrill, Boswell, Peake, Smith, Lafayette, Wilson (Hughes), Horwood, Peskett (Hubbard), King (Biggs), Barratt, Thomas (Egan).