Norwich Union 2 Ipswich II 3
Division 1NNorwich Union 2 Ipswich II 3Ipswich emerged victorious in this top of the table clash with Norwich Union at the weekend.The visitors created plenty of opportunities from the start, with creative distribution of the ball from Leisa King in midfield setting up several strong attacks down the right.
Norwich Union 2 Ipswich II 3
Ipswich emerged victorious in this top of the table clash with Norwich Union at the weekend.
The visitors created plenty of opportunities from the start, with creative distribution of the ball from Leisa King in midfield setting up several strong attacks down the right. These involved Sam Bennett, Lisa Jones and Emily Masson who combined particularly well with Beth Golding up front.
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Norwich Union, in turn, did not forgive any hesitation, often winning the 50/50 balls and forcing some brilliant saves from keeper Fiona Stacey. The Ipswich defence was therefore kept on its toes, but Hannah Talent and Kat Wrinch put in some sound tackles to eliminate many of the major threats. Both Hannah Godfrey and Sam Bennett continually hassled the Norwich Union forwards to force errors then distributed the ball well to the midfield. Tory Spencer, Beth Golding and Amanda Little put in lots of running and worked hard in the D, but despite earning their fair share of short corners, none were made to count.
The first half had gradually become a feisty affair with some controversial umpiring decisions adding to the tension. Each team continued to have spells of dominance but it was Ipswich's Beth Golding who finally broke the deadlock, slotting home a great pass from Emily Masson. The remainder of the first half was a case of hanging on to the one goal advantage for Ipswich amid the rapidly deteriorating mood of the game. Five minutes before half time, Kat Wrinch suffered the consequences as she put in a tackle on a Norwich Union striker and caught a blow from a stick to the side of the face, being forced to support her team from the sidelines for the remainder of the game.
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Tensions settled in the second half, but about 15 minutes in, Norwich equalised from a short corner and the pressure on the visitors intensified again. However, Ipswich had settled more into their game by now and slowly began to create more space. Leisa King struck a long shot to Beth Golding on the left post whose deflection bounced off the keeper's pads only to fall conveniently for Fiona Lane to tap into an open goal.
More great support play involving King and Golding released Masson to make it 3-1 with 15 minutes still on the clock. Norwich were not going to concede three points easily though and, with Ipswich starting to tire, the home side pushed forward again, eventually finding the net to make it 3-2 with about five minutes to go.
Norwich then piled on the pressure, forcing their visitors to defend four short corners in quick succession. Third team goalkeeper Fiona Stacey, standing in for the injured Clare Gould, had an outstanding game and only lost out in the vote for man-of-the-match to Leisa King, who had waited a long time for the accolade.
Ipswich now only need one more point from their remaining three games to secure promotion to the Premier League. Should they win next week against Bourne they will also seal the title.