Allen hits a hat-trick as Tractor Girls crush Harlow in FA Cup
- Credit: Ross Halls
Ipswich Town progressed into the second round of the Women's FA Cup with an emphatic 9-2 victory over a spirited Harlow Town side at Harlow Arena on Sunday.
Georgia Allen hit a first-half hat-trick, Eloise King and Natasha Thomas both bagged braces, with the scoring completed by Abbie Lafayette and Sophie Peskett. Former Town forward Georgia Box and defender Ellie Manning netted for the hosts.
The Tractor Girls continued their recent trend of opening the scoring very early and were ahead inside five minutes as Paige Peake's cross was flicked into the bottom corner by the head of Thomas.
It took Town just two minutes to double their lead as Allen was in the right place at the right time to bury the loose ball following a spill from Harlow 'keeper Sarah Walker.
The Blues' third arrived straight after defending a Harlow corner, with Town springing a rapid counter-attack and after Peskett's shot was deflected, the ball fell kindly for Grey to square to King for a simple tap-in.
Just a minute later the Blues completed their second of three quick-fire doubles as Allen slotted into an open net after Walker had fumbled Grey's dangerous cross.
Despite being 4-0 down after 17 minutes the hosts rallied and got themselves on the scoresheet as Manning nodded home at the back-post after Town failed to clear a corner.
Harlow soon had a second after capitalising on sloppy back-pass, with the uncontested Box able to curl over the head of Lucy Williamson from the edge of the area.
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However, the revival was short-lived as Town netted their fifth of the afternoon just after the half-hour mark.
Peake's cross was neatly flicked into the path of King by Thomas, with the number ten subsequently blasting the ball in the far corner with great composure.
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Soon, Allen completed her hat-trick after some more outstanding play from Grey. The Town winger raced away down the left, rode a sliding challenge and delivered a perfect cross for Allen to curl into the far corner.
The Tractor Girls scored a superb seventh shortly after as Peskett cut into the area and found the far corner with a low shot following a well-executed short-corner from Peake.
The eighth and final goal arrived three minutes from the break as Peake claimed another assist by delivering a pinpoint corner for Lafayette to power beyond Walker with a towering header.
Peskett went agonisingly close to scoring her second immediately after the restart but she dragged her shot wide under pressure.
As a whole the second-half was a complete contrast to the first as neither side managed to create any further clearcut chances until Allen and Grey went close twenty minutes from time, with the latter crashing the crossbar with a powerful effort.
The only goal of the half came with seventeen minutes to go as Thomas swept the ball into the far corner after a marauding run and cross from Ellie Rossiter.
Town would have one final chance to claim their third ten-goal haul of the season but Amy-Leigh Abrehart squandered a great chance at the back-post in the final few minutes.