Ipswich Town Women 1 Southampton Women 2: Heartache for Blues

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Ipswich Town Women players celebrate their opening goal - Credit: Ross Halls

Two early second-half goals proved to be enough, as Southampton Women took a firm grip of the title race with a 1-2 victory over Ipswich Town Women on Sunday, at Felixstowe & Walton's Goldstar ground.

The two teams, meeting for the fourth time this season, came into the game in good form in the league, with both teams winning four of the last five and drawing the other.

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Ipswich Town Women coaching staff and players pictured after their defeat against Southampton - Credit: Ross Halls

Ipswich had enjoyed he better of the head-to-head going into this game, winning in the league away from home and also at The Goldstar on penalties in the FA Cup just a few weeks ago. They lost the other in the League Cup back in November. 

Neither team could get the better of the ball in the early stages. Town had an early corner that the keeper gobbled up, and a chance from Thomas went into the side netting. 

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Abbie Lafayette battles for the ball against Southampton - Credit: Ross Halls

The first real chance fell to Thomas. Lafayette's corner swung in beautifully. The Ipswich player rose above and got her header just wide. 

Ipswich had the best of the first half-hour, limiting Southampton to no shots, but the Blues had no cutting edge. Lafayette was running the game with her passes from the back. 

Thirty-four minutes in and Town took the lead through the penalty spot as Mott pulled down Grey on the left side of the Southampton box. It was converted by Peake.

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Anna Grey in action against Southampton - Credit: Ross Halls

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After a slow start to the second half from Ipswich, Southampton struck with two quick goals.

After Ipswich failed to clear from a previous attack, Kendall managed to get the ball and score from outside the area in the 51st minute and four minutes later, Southampton got themselves a second.

The ball came from some excellent play from the Ipswich’s right. The ball broke for Pusey, who finished over Quantrill. Ipswich's slow start to the half had proved costly. 

The goals had shell shocked Town and the second half was mostly Southampton. Ipswich weren't getting second balls, they tried to get things working, but Southampton controlled the game and managed it to the end of the 90. 

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Ipswich Town Women players at full-time - Credit: Ross Halls

So, a disappointing afternoon at The Goldstar for Ipswich. It means they ultimately hand Southampton the title. It was a real shame as they started very brightly and looked much the better team in the first half.

Ipswich will need other results to go their way to win the league, but on this second-half showing from Southampton, they will be worthy champions.

Ipswich: Quantrill, Hughes, Peake, Smith (Robertson), Lafayette, Grey, Horwood, King (Boswell), O'Brien (Brasero-Carreira), Barratt (Egan), Thomas. Unused sub: Meollo 

Attendance: 673