Watch: Egan scores a thunderbolt to give Tractor Girls season-opening win
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town Women 1 Hashtag United 0 Ipswich Town Women won their first game of the season yesterday - with defender Lucy Egan scoring an absolute cracker to take all three points.
The Tractor Girls were playing their first competitive match in over six months and started well as Abbie Lafayette and Molly Sutherland both had early opportunities to break the deadlock.
The visitors were next to go close but Holly Turner’s shot was straight at Town goalkeeper Nikita Runnacles. The half continued to be cagey but it was Town who looked the likelier to score as the Tags struggled to cope with the Blues’ high press.
Chances would fall for both teams before the break as Sophie Peskett forced Imogen Riches into a strong save before Hashtag were denied a sensational opener by the fingertips of Runnacles, who tipped Turner’s powerful strike onto the bar. Then on the cusp of the break, Zoe Barratt raced through on goal after great hold-up play from Natasha Thomas, but the pacey youngster was thwarted by the legs of Riches.
The deadlock was finally broken shortly after the break as the Tractor Girls took the lead in stunning fashion. The visitors failed to clear Paige Peake’s corner and the ball fell kindly to Lucy Egan to unleash a left-footed howitzer into the top corner, giving Riches absolutely no chance.
Town didn’t take their foot off the gas and continued to pile on the pressure, with 16-year-old substitute Issy Bryant proving a handful on her senior debut. Riches was soon called into action once again as Peskett latched on to Sutherland’s through-ball but the Tags stopper came out on top with another vital save.
Soon a moment of controversy struck as the referee waved away what looked like a deliberate handball against Hashtag, infuriating the home contingent inside the Goldstar Ground.
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However, the Tractor Girls kept their composure and were unlucky not to double their advantage six minutes from time. Paige Wakefield excellently won back possession for the Blues and fed the ball out to Bryant, who teed up Sutherland to strike. The ball looked destined to hit the back of the net but after hitting both the post and the back of the initially beaten Riches, the ball somehow stayed out.
The visitors had a brief spell of pressure in the dying stages of the game, but Town held on to secure the three points.