Now it's the Tractor Girls turn to seal dramatic late winner
- Credit: Ross Halls
Natasha Thomas headed home a dramatic late winner as Ipswich Town maintained their winning run with a 1-0 victory over Bridgwater United at the Goldstar Ground on Sunday, writes Kieren Standley.
The game started incredibly scrappy and not much happened in the opening 15 minutes other than an unfortunate hamstring injury for Town winger Anna Grey.
A few minutes later, Zoe Barratt was barged over in the area but referee Cameron Saunders waved away the muted appeals for a penalty. The first-half continued to be very cagey as both sides attempted to gain a foothold in the game, with neither goalkeeper asked to do much other than collect routine balls being sent into their respective areas.
The best chance of the half fell to Maddie Biggs but after bringing down Paige Peake's searching long-ball, she blasted over.
Moments after the restart, Town had another appeal for a penalty as this time Biggs went to ground but just as before, Saunders wasn't convinced and turned down the calls for a spot-kick.
Moments later Biggs was at the forefront of the action once again as she latched on to another long-ball but after attempting to lob Beth Howard, she saw her half-volley drop over the top of the crossbar. The Tractor Girls forward soon looked to turn provider as she sent Summer Hughes through on goal but the England U19 international fired her shot wide of the mark.
Manager Joe Sheehan soon introduced Lucy O'Brien and Natasha Thomas from the bench as Town went in search of a winner, with the former going close with a header from Abbie Lafayette's corner.
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The Tractor Girls continued to push hard for a winner and O'Brien went agonisingly close after being sent through by Peake but found Howard well behind her shot. However, Ipswich weren't to be denied again as Thomas came up clutch at the death.
Bonnie Horwood whipped in a corner and there was Thomas towering high in the area to power her header in off the post - sending the entire Ipswich Town contingent inside the Goldstar Ground into complete delirium.
Town would have a chance to hit a second late goal but after great work from Thomas to find O'Brien, the young midfielder blasted over. The Blues would ultimately go on to secure a crucial three points against a very well-drilled and competitive opponent, who made life difficult for the Tractor Girls.
The result sees Town move six points clear at the top of the FAWNL Southern Premier Division table, with second-placed Southampton having played two games less.
The Tractor Girls return to action next Sunday as part of a double-header weekend with Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.
Town: Quantrill, Boswell, Peake, Smith, Hughes (O'Brien), Lafayette, Horwood (c), Barratt, King, Grey (Robertson [Egan]), Biggs (Thomas).
Unused: L. Jackson