Slough 3 Ipswich 0
Premier DivisionSlough 3 Ipswich 0 Ipswich ended their 2006/7 Premier League season with a disappointing 3-0 loss to runners-up Slough.Despite Ipswich playing some great build up hockey, the difference in the side was the class of Jane Smith's finishing.
Slough 3 Ipswich 0
Ipswich ended their 2006/7 Premier League season with a disappointing 3-0 loss to runners-up Slough.
Despite Ipswich playing some great build up hockey, the difference in the side was the class of Jane Smith's finishing. Ex-Ipswich player Smith finished runner-up to Tina Cullen for the league's top goal scorer award and her hat-trick on Saturday showed why she has scored 23 goals.
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Ipswich, missing South African International Kate Hector, started the game rather sluggishly and were soon punished as Smith fired her first goal home from a short corner. Ipswich keeper Charlotte Lee-Smith will be disappointed not to have made the save as the ball crept under her body.
Ipswich then upped their game and player of the match Emma Lee-Smith soon began to cause Slough problems in the middle of the pitch. Some great build up play involving her and Jo Ellis saw Ipswich have a few half chances but a Slough breakaway saw Smith extend the home teams lead. Despite being pushed wide by Ipswich defender Kirsten Spencer, Smith's shot was still powerful enough to beat Lee-Smith in goal and it was 2-0 Slough.
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Despite the deficit Ipswich continued to attack the sluggish Slough defence and they gained a run of short corners, but the routines were not working well and the home side held firm.
The second half saw Ipswich dominate the match with some tireless running by Lizzy Aldous in midfield. The Suffolk side should have scored several goals but the final touch was just missing. Probably the best Ipswich chance fell to Emma Millar who was put through on goal by Jo Ellis, but her decision to pass to team mate Jenny Hall rather than shoot only led to a short corner rather than the goal the move deserved.
In the 45th minute Smith then scored her best goal of the game, a neat deflection from a quick free hit to claim her hat-trick. Ipswich again, to their credit, kept taking the game to their hosts but they could not find that all important breakthrough and Slough ran out 3-0 winners.
Ipswich finish the season in sixth spot, a one place drop from last year.
Attention now focuses on the cup semi-final on Saturday against Bowdon Hightown. Ipswich will know that they will need to rediscover their scoring touch if they want to avenge their indoor defeat to the Manchester based team. Should Ipswich make it past Bowdon their likely opponents in the final would be Slough.