Thomas hits a brace as Tractor Girls edge Denham dogfight
PUBLISHED: 11:21 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:44 25 March 2019
National League Division One South East
Denham United 1
Ipswich Town 3
Natasha Thomas netted twice as Ipswich Town Women finally secured their first league victory of 2019 with a dogged 3-1 victory over struggling Denham United at The Den on Sunday. Toni-Anne Wayne was also on target for the Tractor Girls in a hard-fought affair.
Town took the lead with perhaps the quickest goal in the club’s history as Thomas raced to press the Denham backline straight from the kickoff and caught Kara Howes in possession before taking a touch inside and curling into the far corner.
Ipswich continued to pile on the pressure but the inability to assert their dominance would soon be punished as Denham drew level. Lauren Cox crossed from the right and her delivery wasn’t dealt with by Harriet Petley, allowing Kayleigh Currivan to nod home the loose ball from six-yards.
The equaliser didn’t phase Town as they continued to push forward in search of another goal but were frustrated as two goals were ruled out for offside. However, Denham could have found themselves in front in the closing stages of the first-half but Sian Fagg denied Cox one-on-one. Ipswich did ensure they headed into the break in front with just seconds remaining as Paige Wakefield threaded the ball through the eye of a needle to Wayne, who took the ball past the stranded Denham keeper’ Lizzie Rose and slotted into an open net.
Ipswich found themselves immediately under pressure after the restart as Fagg was called into early action, denying a headed chance from a deep free-kick.
The Town stopper, who was making her 100th appearance for the club, was busy for a large spell as the hosts continued to threaten in behind. Currivan found herself through on goal on a couple of occasions but Fagg was proving a force to be reckoned with and was alert off her line to thwart the chances.
Ipswich themselves were still carving out opportunities and could have secured the points with fifteen minutes to go as substitute Charlotte Kellett broke through on goal but her effort was well tipped over the bar by Rose.
The Tractor Girls finally put the game to bed two minutes from time with a touch of controversy. Thomas bullied her way into the area before clinically beating Rose at her near post but the Denham bench were incensed that a foul against Emma Kern in the build up wasn’t given. Despite strong contention from the technical area, the officials waved away the appeals and Town secured the three points.
Town XI: Fagg (c), Ball, Arnoup (Cage), Petley, Pannifer, Wakefield (Kellett), Flatt, Welton (Box), Nash, Thomas, Wayne. Unused: Clarke.