Thomas makes history as Tractor Girls start with big win
- Credit: Ross Halls
Natasha Thomas scored her 100th goal for Ipswich Town as the Tractor Girls began their FAWNL Southern Premier Division campaign with a 6-0 victory over Hounslow at Rectory Meadow on Sunday.
Thomas would go on to net a brace, with Maddie Biggs, Bonnie Horwood, Paige Peake and Lucy O'Brien completing the scoring in a magnificent season opener for the Tractor Girls.
Town went in to the game as heavy favourites and it wasn't long before Joe Sheehan's side went ahead. New captain Blue Wilson threaded a perfectly weighted through-ball to Biggs, who stabbed past Vicky Wright with no hesitation.
The Tractor Girls continued to dominate the early proceedings, with teenage debutant Kyra Robertson combining with Maria Boswell to create a serious threat down the right-hand side.
The latter in particular was looking to get forward at every opportunity and soon registered an assist after picking up a short corner and playing the ball low into Horwood, who turned on a dime and slotted home on her Ipswich Town debut. Horwood could've had another goal to her name on the stroke of half-time but saw her side-footed effort dip onto the crossbar.
The Tractor Girls were straight back at it after the restart and were soon awarded a penalty after Zoe Barratt's cross was handled in the area by Hounslow skipper Jeta Bytyqi.
Peake stepped up and lashed the ball beyond Wright to give the Blues a three-goal cushion. Just before the hour-mark, a moment in history was made as Thomas became the first ever female player to score 100 goals for Ipswich Town.
Olivia Smith's cross wasn't dealt with by Hounslow and after Peake scuffed her shot in the six-yard box, Thomas was on hand to turn home the loose ball to secure her century.
However, the Town forward wasn't done there as she found the net again just four minutes later with a bullet header from Boswell's glorious cross from the right.
Sheehan soon introduced England U19 international midfielder O'Brien as a substitute and it wasn't long before the talented teenager made an impact with a potential goal of the season contender.
After receiving the ball from Lafayette deep in the Blues' half, O'Brien ran almost the entire length of the pitch, gliding past multiple defenders, before slotting the ball past the stranded Wright for her first senior goal for the club.
Town went on to secure the three points with relative ease against a Hounslow side who only managed to register a solitary shot on target during the game.
The result sees the Tractor Girls sit at the summit of the Southern Premier Division on goal difference heading into this Sunday's home opener.