Tractor Girls finish third after final game defeat at Pompey

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Ipswich Town Women players applaud the travelling fans - Credit: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town Women finished third in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth on the final day of the season.

The game started at a frantic pace as both sides look to establish a foothold in the game. The first chance came for Portsmouth as Town almost gifted the hosts an early goal but Lucy Egan made a vital interception to deny Shannon Albuery a clear shot.

As the game developed, it became incredibly end-to-end, with both sides looking dangerous on the break.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Joe Sheehan speaks to the players and staff after the defeat at Portsmouth - Credit: Ross Halls

The Tractor Girls almost took the lead with a moment of real quality as Eloise King switched the ball wide to Maria Boswell, who delivered into the centre for Natasha Thomas, with the Town forward unlucky not to see her audacious overhead kick beat Hannah Haughton.

Minutes later, Town had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring but after being slipped through on goal by Thomas, teenage midfielder Sarah Brasero-Carreira fired straight at Haughton.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Sarah Brasero-Carriera in action against Portsmouth - Credit: Ross Halls

The hosts were soon unlucky not to break the deadlock themselves as Cherelle Khassal waltzed into the Town area but Sarah Quantrill was brave to smother the ball at her feet as Khassal attempted to round her.

However, Khassal wasn't to be denied again as she opened the scoring with a moment of absolute brilliance. After drifting in from the left, the pacey forward let fly with a stunning curling effort towards goal and found the top corner with Quantrill scrambling across her goal.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Eloise King pictured after the defeat on the final day - Credit: Ross Halls

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Ipswich took some time to get going after the restart and were unlucky not to be level as the game approached the hour-mark.

Portsmouth failed to clear a dangerous cross, with Thomas forcing Haughton into a low reactionary save, but it was Anna Grey cursing her luck as she swept the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Mario Boswell crossing the ball during the 1-0 defeat at Portsmouth - Credit: Ross Halls

Town continued to push for an equaliser and were presented with another excellent chance to draw level but, after meeting Summer Hughes' cross, Grey headed straight at Haughton.

As the game entered its latter stages, Pompey were presented with two opportunities to kill the game off. First, Khassal blazed the ball over the bar after being slipped through by Albuery, before captain Danielle Rowe saw her driven effort clip the crossbar in added-time.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Natasha Thomas was Town Women top scorer in the 2021-22 season - Credit: Ross Halls

After the full-time whistle, Egan was dismissed after a confrontation with the referee, and will be suspended for the beginning of the 2022/23 season.

Results elsewhere meant the Tractor Girls were leapfrogged by Oxford United and ultimately finished third in their first season in the Southern Premier Division.

Portsmouth vs Ipswich Town Women 010522

Ipswich Town Women manager Joe Sheehan after full-time - Credit: Ross Halls

Town: Quantrill, Boswell (Hubbard), Peake, Egan, Hughes, Horwood (c), Robertson, King, Brasero-Carreira (O'Brien), Grey (Biggs), Thomas

Unused: L. Jackson, A. Jackson