Title hopes all but over for Tractor Girls after disappointing draw
- Credit: Ross Halls
Ipswich Town Women’s title hopes are over after they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Goldstar against relegated Chichester and Selsey yesterday.
Goals from Amelia Hammond and Lucy O'Brien shared the spoils in a game where a draw did neither side any good with Town’s title hopes realistically gone and the visitors being officially relegated.
Mathematically it is still alive, but with Southampton now two points ahead and still having a couple of games in hand with only one loss all season, the title is all but gone.
Town began strongly but were stung early on when Hammond put the visitors ahead with a brilliant 25-yard half volley that caught everyone by surprise, including Sarah Quantrill in goal, as the ball went beyond her dive into corner.
A reaction was expected but the Tractor Girls lacked tempo against a stubborn defence that had something to hang on to, with Eloise King forcing Sadie Blakely in goal into a decent save the best of the few first half opportunities created.
The Suffolk side came out with more urgency after the break and forced a few early corners with Natasha Thomas and Paige Peake getting in each other’s way to waste a good headed chance.
Seconds later Abbie Lafayette took a cross-come-shot that clipped the bar as the pressure intensified.
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But Chichester weathered the storm and started to look more comfortable as Ipswich lacked ideas from open play but were dangerous at set pieces as Peake missed a golden opportunity from another brilliant Lafayette corner.
If the opener came as a surprise, then the equaliser did also as an innocuous Lucy O'Brien header looped towards goal and inexplicably Blakely lost the track of the ball and reacted too late as her misjudgement allowed the ball to cross the line to her horror.
Chances came and went for the home side but in the end a draw did neither side any favours as a season that had so much promise has been ruined by back-to-back weeks of bitter disappointment.
Ipswich Town: Quantrill; Boswell; Peake; Smith (Eagan); Lafayette; Horwood; Robertson (Hubbard); King; O’Brien; Grey; Thomas
Unused: Meollo; A Jackson