Cooper the hero as Tractor Girls grab a late draw
- Credit: Archant
National League Division One South East Ipswich Town 2 Stevenage 2 Lindsey Cooper headed a late leveller as Ipswich Town Women fought back with just ten players to earn a 2-2 draw with Stevenage at the Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe, writes Kieren Standley.
Ipswich got off to an incredibly fast start and found themselves in front as Amy Nash burst into the area following a short corner routine and cut the ball back for Thomas, who obliged by firing into the roof of the net from close-range.
Nash was proving to be a serious threat for Town, with the winger the main outlet of attack down the left-wing.
However, Stevenage soon responded to early pressure and were level soon as Pope raced in behind the Town backline and calmly lifted the ball over Sian Fagg.
The goal buoyed the visitors as they took control for the remainder of the half and should have gone into the break ahead but Emmings wasted a glorious chance at the back-post wide by hacking wide.
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Despite being level at the break, the Hertfordshire side did take the lead almost immediately after the restart as they were awarded a penalty. Pope found herself through on goal and was bundled over by Fagg in the area before Emmings held her nerve to put the visitors in front from the spot.
Town could have levelled the game up with a moment of real quality but Paige Wakefield’s dangerous dipping volley was excellently tipped onto the post by Hannah Vandersluis.
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However, just as the Blues were growing into the game they were reduced to ten players after Jordan Arnoup’s late challenge on Ellie Searle saw her receive a straight red card.
However, the dismissal didn’t phase the Tractor Girls as they tried to manufacture a response, with Zoe Cossey and Wakefield both testing Vandersluis. Finally, the deserved equaliser arrived four minutes from time as Cooper towered high to head home a quality wide free-kick from Nash.
Stevenage looked shellshocked by the Blues’ fightback but saw the game out to claim a fair point. The result sees the Tractor Girls remain eighth in the table ahead of this Sunday’s home clash against league champions Crawley Wasps.
Town XI: Fagg (c), Ball, Arnoup, Cage (Cooper), Pannifer, Wakefield, Flatt (Box), Crump, Thomas, Nash, Wayne (Cossey). Unused: Clarke (GK), Petley.