Sunday 5th January 2020
Women’s FA Cup
First game of the New Year, a new decade in fact a trip down into Suffolk to watch a game from the 3rd Round of the Women’s FA Cup, Ipswich Town Women leading FAWNL South East Division One taking on higher league opponents Portsmouth FC Women.
The winners of today’s tie going on to potentially face FAWSL opposition as the clubs from the top tier and Championship below enter the competition. Ipswich looking to reach the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Having a fine season to date leading the way in FAWNL South East Division One 4 points clear at the top of the table unbeaten winning 8 of their 9 matches played so far. A host of sides in the hunt to chase them down can’t afford to let their foot off the gas. Starting 2020 with a cup tie against higher league opposition will fancy their chances. Ipswich are currently the dominant force in women’s football in Suffolk and that looks unlikely to be contested for some time with manager Jo Sheehan having previously looked after their U21s side bringing in a host of new talent to boost the 1st team and their is plenty of talent coming through as not just I but anyone who has seen them in action will testify.
A well organised and committed media team established to promote the women’s side the Tractor Girls are building a solid fan base with numbers in attendance up. Their local derby with Norwich City Women seeing over 700 in attendance earlier in the season. A good crowd building before today’s match have played 3 games in the Women’s FA Cup to date entering in 2nd Round Qualifying, beating ERWFL Premier Division side Royston Town Women 7-0. A 6-1 home win against Norwich followed, with another home win 5-0 agianst fellow league side AFC Basildon Women following in the 1st Round Proper. A trip to the South Coast to face Southern Premier Division basement side Chichester City Ladies in the 2nd Round came home with a 6-0 to set up today’s home clash with Portsmouth.
Portsmouth FC Women a long established side in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division. A side capable of beating anyone on their day. Their form up and down this season with just 7 league games played so far have games in hand on everyone in the league 4 wins and 3 losses so far. Have saved their best form for the cup reaching the quarter finals of the FAWNL Cup including a couple of extra-time wins. The Southern Premier Division sides entering the competition in the 2nd Round, Portsmouth were at home to FAWNL South East Division One opposition a tricky tie on paper with Leyton Orient WFC on the pitch Portsmouth were comfortable running out 6-1 winners.
Felixstowe & Walton FC’s Goldstar Ground the home of Ipswich Town Women a newly build clubhouse and changing room facility leading out to the pitch beyond. A bar and kitchen serving hot food and drinks available. The pitch a good side well used fairly bobbly in places. Offers good width. An overcast day with some light rain in the air prior to kick-off none forecast.
Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Nikita Runnacles, Paige Peake, Lindsey Cooper, Lucy Egan, Anna Grey, Sophie Peskett, Blue Wilson, Amanda Crump (C), Abbie Lafayette, Eloise King & Natasha Thomas. Subs – Lucy Williamson, Nicole Pannifer, Eva Hubbard, Maddie Biggs, Zoe Cossey, Ellie Rossiter & Molly Sutherland.
Portsmouth FC Women starting XI – Hannah Haughton, Rebekah Tonks, Laura Ingram, Jazz Younger, Danielle Rowe, Jade Bradley (C), Mia Adaway, Katie James, Hayley Bridge & Charmaine True. Subs – Mel Burns, Amelia Southgate, Tamsin De Bunsen & Molly Clark.
Mia Adaway making her full debut for Portsmouth this afternoon wearing their all purple away kit as they switch ends at the coin toss, Ipswich to kick-off the first half wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Referee Stacey Fullicks leading an all female officiating team this afternoon. Portsmouth pressing in midfield the ball put on down the right progress made before Lucy Egan puts her foot in to win the ball back for Ipswich the hosts playing the ball up to Natasha Thomas leading the attack for Ipswich on halfway her header under challenge seeing the ball knocked on for captain Amanda Crump to chase, Laura Ingram defending that side for Portsmouth putting the ball out for a throw.
A lively start from both sides neither settling on the ball passes rushed, Charmaine True in attack for Portsmouth playing the ball out to Eilidh Currie breaking into space on the left to the byline whips a high ball into the box comfortably taken above her head by Ipswich goalkeeper, Nikita Runnacles. Currie getting some joy out wide left for Portsmouth finding space again puts a squared ball across the top of the Ipswich area the ball cleared by Lindsey Cooper.
The visitors pushing forwards joy on the flanks, Ipswich winning it back unable to get an attack going Jazz Younger stopping their advance on halfway keeping Portsmouth inside their opponents half. True coming out to the right flicks the ball inside for her captain Jade Bradley, a superb crossfield ball to send Ingram away with the ball on the left taking it on, Crump with the sliding tackle to halt her advance for Ipswich the ball out for a throw.
Ingram with the ball at her feet on the attack for Portsmouth down the left sends it on for True back to goal 25 yards out looks to spin in behind her marker, Paige Peake in close challenges to prevent the attacker getting into the box beyond. Ipswich taking longer to settle have seen little of the attack in the opening quarter hour standing firm at the back as Portsmouth come on. Crump is brought down on the right giving Ipswich a chance to put players forwards as they are awarded the free-kick. Peake over the ball plays it in towards the crowd at the top of the box far post running in, headed goalwards but high onto the roof of the net.
Portsmouth giving free-kicks away their bench unhappy as decisions go against them. Peake over another set-piece out wide the ball played long into the box, controlled well and cleared by Younger for Portsmouth. Ipswich finding a bit of momentum going forwards Abbie Lafayette going out to the left taking the ball on pace before sending in a dangerous ball across the face of goal Sophie Peskett running in far post pressure on the defender who slices the ball behind for a corner kick. An inviting delivery from the corner players up no one can get a telling touch.
Portsmouth launch a rapid counter attack True deep on the right into the box with the back heel out Currie making a central run 20 out has support coming from Bradley on the overlap to her left rolls the ball into her path, Peskett running back sliding into the tackle for Ipswich before Bradley can unleash a shot. All action, challenges coming in from both sides pace can’ take your eyes off it for a second. Causing both sides to rush their passes a little no one taking their time on the ball. Currie coming back to defend for Portsmouth as Crump with support from Peskett and Thomas looks to make ground on the right. Crump brought down again another free-kick awarded Peake to play the ball in towards the top of the area the ball knocked down runs wide for a goal-kick.
Adaway races forwards for Portsmouth on the left into space as Currie finds her with the pass taking it into the corner cuts back to cross the ball finding the side netting. Hayley Bridge on the ball right for Portsmouth over halfway puts the pass infield for Bradley 30 yards out pulls the trigger her shot falling wide of the far post. Peskett picks up the ball for Ipswich right taking players on skips past one into space turning inside is closed down before she can get a cross away.
An even contest both side cancelling each other out somewhat, Portsmouth taking the ball on down the right wing, James with support from Bridge getting a corner kick. The ball put into the box played back to the taker her 2nd cross in cleared by Crump central. Portsmouth keep coming another corner the ball cleared straight to Bridge passed into Rowe inside the D she sends in a curling shot the ball confidently caught by Runnacles. Half and hour played. Thomas for the majority of the match so far has been close guarded by the Portsmouth defence, moving out to the left as Ipswich build in attack the ball rolled into her turns well to get inside attack the box shooting the ball flying wide across goal. The fouls mounting up Anna Grey the first player to go into the referees book with 36 minutes played.
GOAL! Ipswich send players forwards as they win a free-kick wide on the left inside the Portsmouth half. Peake coming over to take plays in a fantastic delivery racing through the six yards box players running to try and meet it, Thomas closest, the ball finding it’s way through everyone into the bottom corner. No doubt about the scorer as the Ipswich players race over to congratulate Peake the defender with her 7th goal of the season.
Portsmouth frustrated pressing the attack Ipswich battling well to close the ball down Adaway seeing an effort charged down, Currie’s left wing cross long at the far post with James racing in. Currie again on the ball a driving run into the final third Ipswich coming back on her to crowd her off the ball. Would talk about someone else but Currie dominates the notes right now a determined run with the ball central is finally brought to a halt by Ipswich’s Blue Wilson 25 yards from goal. Currie with a crack from distance moments later 30 yards out the shot held by Runnacles.
Portsmouth coming on at the end of the first period Currie pulling up in frustration as she is caught offside, just, as Rowe plays a great through ball in behind the Ipswich defence. The visitors seeing the woodwork struck in injury time True having latched onto a misplaced goalkick sending in a looping strike from 20 yards out the ball cannoned off the bar.
Half-time Ipswich Town Women 1-0 Portsmouth FC Women
A fast paced first half comes to an end with Ipswich holding a narrow advantage, Paige Peake’s 37th minute goal the difference between the sides. Both sides slow to settle Portsmouth finding momentum in attack getting forwards, space out wide Currie in particular finding joy in the left, Nikita Runnacles hardly tested however. Likewise Hannah Haughton up the other end for Portsmouth. Ipswich taking longer to settle hardly had any attack early on defended well, closing down free-kicks given away eventually taking advantage of one to score. Competitive, Portsmouth frustrated just a single goal in it however all to play for 2nd half. Extra-time and penalties if required.
No changes for either side at the break the Portsmouth getting the game restarted on the attack, Adaway getting forwards on the left to support Currie, Peskett back to help Peake the pair preventing a cross coming in. Currie comes again on the left sending in a low cross the ball deflected behind for a corner kick. Put in high the ball cleared Eloise King aiming to send Lafayette away Portsmouth recovering to prevent the break.
Ipswich build through the middle Wilson the Crump out to Lafayette she releases Grey bursting away into space on the left, Younger coming across puts in the challenge for Portsmouth the ball sent out for a throw. Ipswich from the throw the ball to King’s feet plays it central for Crump a brilliant chip over the top sees Thomas in behind left into the box fires in a vicious ball across the six yard box attacked far post, a corner the result despite Portsmouth protests for a foul on their defender. The corner swung into the box headed clear.
Ipswich lively at the start of the 2nd half have Portsmouth on the back foot pressing the attack looking for a 2nd goal, Grey, Lafayette and Crump all making good runs. Run the risk of being caught out the other end, Rowe working hard on the ball in the middle for Portsmouth sending it forwards for True making the run, Cooper reading it at the back giving herself room to intercept and clear for Ipswich. Peskett’s turn to get on the attack for Ipswich a surging run with the ball on the left runs into traffic.
King links up with Thomas in attack for Ipswich rolling the ball on for Thomas to take on into the box makes a run towards the far post Thomas left putting a pacey cross through the six yard box defended at the far post Ipswich quick to retrieve Crump putting it inside with King free, her shot charged down. Ipswich winning a corner on the right the ball pinging around inside the box Portsmouth struggling to get it clear Ipswich unable to latch onto a shot. The hour fast approaching and Ipswich make the first change of the match King the player coming off in attack to be replaced by Maddie Biggs.
Haughton with a fantastic save for Portsmouth, as Peskett right robs the ball from Currie and charges in behind to shoot on the angle her low driven shot deflected wide across goal as Haughton gets down to it at her near post a corner awarded. Ipswich on top Portsmouth respond with their first change of the match, Molly Clark on for Adaway. Lafayette plays the ball up to Biggs and Thomas in attack for Ipswich 20 yards out the pair combine Thomas with the lay off, Biggs with the turn left of the D screws her shot wide.
Peake winning the header at the back for Ipswich as Bradley getting room in the middle plays it up to for Currie left side. Thomas on the ball central for Ipswich turns playing it on for Biggs to run in on goal one on one with the keeper, commits Haughton to the dive takes the ball around her to the right as players race back to cover the goal, the angle tight Biggs sets herself to strike, Tonks on the line making a superb block for Portsmouth, Thomas closing in on the loose ball, is scrambled away.
Into the final 20 minutes play getting a little stretched, both sides needing a goal Ipswich to give themselves breathing room albeit a little and Portsmouth to get back on level terms, despite being frustrated throughout the match confident they will come back. Amelia Southgate entering the game for Portsmouth in place of Bridge. A minute later Tasmin De Bunsen comes on for the visitors replacing James. Wilson goes into the book for Ipswich. Clark with a shot from all of 40 yards out drops wide of the Ipswich goal.
Currie a constant threat out left for Portsmouth gets away on the ball taking it on towards the box preparing to pull the trigger Peake gets back on her to make a brilliant last ditch tackle to put the ball out for a throw. The game into the final 8 minutes. Ingram pushing on for Portsmouth in the latter stages Lafayette back to help in defence for Ipswich the pace of the match showing no let up. Ipswich determined as Portsmouth commit more players forwards Bradley on for De Bunsen has support with Ingram right her cross into the box just over the jumping Clark in the middle.
True left side gathering the ball turns to run at goal shooting on the angle an comfortable save at her near post for Runnacles. The visitors on the attack in the closing minutes, Ipswich making a change in the 89th minute Zoe Cossey on for Thomas. Ipswich with a free-kick in stoppage time Peake with the ball in Lafayette central inside the box almost clear to nod home, Haughton with the ball firmly in her grasp. Younger sent up top in attack at the death Ipswich though keeping the ball up the other end the final whistle blows and the hosts celebrate wildly as they make history reaching the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time in their history.
Full time Ipswich Town Women 1-0 Portsmouth FC Women
A fantastic result for Ipswich Town Women beating Portsmouth 1-0 to reach the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup for the first time. Paige Peake’s 37th minute goal proving the difference over a tough 90 minutes. Portsmouth for their part never at any moment out of the game just couldn’t find that telling goal that could have sent the tie into extra-time. despite soaking up alot of Ipswich pressure early in the 2nd half as the hosts looked to build on their narrow lead. Well contested fast paced, little time to settle on the ball, lots of free-kicks given away but no malice shown through out. A great advert for the game. A fantastic crowd of 368 there to watch the game.
Women’s Football East – Player of the Match
Onto today’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match a few contenders as always and a difficult decision. For Portsmouth, Danielle Rowe was outstanding in the middle covering plenty of ground to win and keep hold of the ball set up attacks, out of the left Eilidh Currie a constant threat, Jazz Younger and Rebekah Tonks in defence. A great all round team performance from Ipswich battled at times got forwards well, Amanda Crump in the middle with some good challenges and runs. Anna Grey too getting forwards in attack. The award though goes to Paige Peake scoring the winning goal of course but some fantastic ball in from her set-pieces aswell as several fantastic challenges in defence.
Congratulation to Ipswich Town Women on their historic win all ears now on the draw for the 4th Round of the Women’s FA Cup live on Talksport radio tomorrow at 5pm. A great game to start the decade many more to come thanks to everyone for their help today.