Tractor Girls suffer first league defeat in almost two years

Oxford United vs Ipswich Town Women 1

Ipswich Town star Paige Peake shows her disappointment after defeat at Oxford United - Credit: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town Women were condemned to their first league defeat since March 2020 as Oxford United maintained their unbeaten home record with a 3-1 victory at Court Place Farm, writes Kieran Standley.

Beth Lumsden opened the scoring for the U's after just five minutes, before Daisy McLachlan doubled the home side's lead against the run of play on the stroke of half-time.

Sophie Baker made it three shortly after the restart, with Sarah Brasero-Carreira netting a consolation goal for the Tractor Girls with fifteen minutes remaining.

Oxford United vs Ipswich Town Women 3

Town remain top of FA National League Southern Premier Division but suffer their first league defeat of the season - Credit: Ross Halls

Town found themselves behind early doors as Lumsden turned Olivia Smith on the edge of the Ipswich area before firing high into the top corner with Sarah Quantrill beaten at full stretch.

Lumsden almost had a second goal minutes later but Smith recovered and Quantrill pounced on the loose ball.

Town pushed forward in search of an equaliser and were presented with a great opportunity when Zoe Barratt drove towards goal but after beating the last defender, she dragged her shot wide.

The hosts still carried a massive threat on the counter-attack and Lumsden went close once again but Quantrill bravely smothered the ball at the feet of the Oxford forward as she was about to pull the trigger.

Oxford United vs Ipswich Town Women

Sarah Brasero-Carreira pulled a goal back for Ipswich Town - Credit: Ross Halls

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Just as the Tractor Girls were starting to find their feet, Oxford delivered a sucker punch against the run of play. After pouncing on a loose ball after Town looked to play out from the back, McLachlan controlled the ball before finding the far corner with a half-volley from the edge of the area.

Despite being stunned by the second goal, Town had a great chance to get one back just before half-time as Paige Peake flicked on Abbie Lafayette's corner but Brasero-Carreira couldn't turn the ball goalwards.  

Joe Sheehan's side went in search of a response after the break but were dealt another hammer blow as Oxford added a third just three minutes after the restart.

Oxford United vs Ipswich Town Women

Oxford United celebrate their opening goal against Ipswich Town - Credit: Ross Halls

Town failed to clear their lines, which resulted in Quantrill being forced into a low save, and Baker was in prime position to bundle home the rebound to extend the U's lead. 

The Tractor Girls now faced an uphill battle to get back into the game and had to wait until 15 minutes from time to give themselves a glimmer of hope.

Barratt drove forward and cut the ball back to Brasero-Carreira on the edge of the area, with the teenage midfielder finding the top-left corner with a superb curling strike. 

Town rallied and put Oxford under pressure in the latter stages of the game, with substitute Maddie Biggs going agonisingly close to netting a second goal for the Tractor Girls. Oxford would ultimately hold on to inflict a first league defeat of the season on the Blues.

Oxford United vs Ipswich Town Women

The scoreboard at full-time at Oxford - Credit: Ross Halls

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