Thomas nets but Tractor Girls held to first draw since 2019
- Credit: Ross Halls
Ipswich Town Women began 2022 with a 1-1 draw, as Portsmouth came from behind to snatch a point at the Goldstar Ground.
Natasha Thomas headed the Tractor Girls in front in the first-half before Evie Gane levelled for the visitors shortly after the hour-mark.
Town took control of the game early on and had the first chance of the game as Portsmouth failed to clear Summer Hughes' cross but Hannah Haughton was equal to Thomas' low shot.
Anna Grey soon had a moment of individual brilliance as Maddie Biggs blocked a short corner and sent the Town winger racing away but, after running almost the entire length of the pitch, Grey saw her cross pushed wide by Haughton.
The Pompey 'keeper was soon called into action again moments later as Thomas once again met Hughes' cross but she was denied at close range.
However, Thomas wasn't to be denied a third time as the visitors failed to clear Bonnie Horwood's corner, allowing Eloise King to calmly clip the ball back into the six-yard box for Thomas to nod past Haughton.
Town continued to be in the ascendancy after the break but were unable to test Haughton with any clear-cut chances.
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Pompey soon began to grow into the game and got themselves level with their first real opportunity of the afternoon. Tamsin De Bunsen's free-kick from the edge of the Town area was well saved by Sarah Quantrill but Gane was quickest to react to slam home the rebound.
Town weren't phased by surrendering the lead and continued to push on in search of a second goal. King thought she had a second assist of the afternoon as she broke into the area and squared for Thomas, but the Town forward couldn't get the ball under control before Portsmouth cleared.
Thomas was soon gifted with a glorious opportunity to put the Tractor Girls ahead for the second time in the game, as she intercepted a poor back pass but saw her reactionary snapshot saved by the onrushing Haughton.
Town could have been awarded a pair of penalties in the latter stages of the game after Zoe Barratt twice looked to be impeded in the area but the referee waved away both appeals to the displeasure of the Town fans behind the goal.
Pompey held on to secure a point and hold the Tractor Girls to their first draw since August 2019.
The Blues will be looking to return to winning ways this Sunday as rock-bottom Hounslow make the trip to the Goldstar Ground.
Town: Quantrill, Hughes, Smith, Horwood (c), Peake, Grey, Robertson, King, Barratt, Biggs (Brasero-Carreira), Thomas.
Unused: Meollo (GK), Telford, A. Jackson, Lafayette.