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Match Report – Cup Final Special

Tuesday 7th May

Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final

Ipswich Town Women v Needham Market Women 

A Tuesday night trip to Portman Road home of Ipswich Town FC for the final of this season’s HomeStore Suffolk Women’s County Cup, Ipswich Town Women looking to retain the trophy for the 5th successive season, Needham Market Women their opponents reaching the final of the County Cup in their debut season.

Ipswich Town Women have dominated in the Suffolk Women’s County Cup for over a decade now appearing in 10 of the last finals winning the competition winning the trophy on 8 occasions, whilst it was a shared competition with Norfolk that as a stand alone competition in Suffolk. 4 successive wins coming into tonight’s final looking strong to make it five in a row as they come up against an emerging side playing 3 leagues below. Ipswich the leading woman’s club in Suffolk playing in the FAWNL South East Division One where they secured a 7th placed finish with a last gasp winner on Sunday. A change of management after an indifferent start to the season Jo Sheehan looking after their U21s side stepping up to the role, has brought some of Ipswich’s talented youngsters through to play for the senior team to bolster an established and experienced squad.

 A fantastic first season for Needham Market Women coming together in the summer, the squad building, several names familiar having been part of Bacton United Ladies and Coplestonians Ladies. Hit the ground running winning their opening 5 league games matching East Bergholt’s 100% winning start, their 1st league defeat of the season at home to East Bergholt losing narrowly 3-2 Needham Market nevertheless bounced back well returning the compliment with a 3-0 win against East Bergholt at the start of March that though East Bergholt’s only defeat, Needham Market losing 3 in total clinching runner-ups spot, more success too in the cup competitions reaching both the finals of the League and County Cup.

 Missing out on collecting silverware in the League Cup played last week losing 2-1 to East Bergholt who won a 2nd successive double. Plenty of goals within the squad over 120 scored a wonderful occasion to mark the end of their first season together getting the opportunity to play at under the lights at Portman Road. Know it will be a tough test playing against a side playing their football 3 leagues higher in the FAWNL. Suffolk itself ready for new sides to establish themselves up the women’s football pyramid and Needham Market as in a good position to build.

Road to the Final

 Ipswich Town Women away to ERWFL Division One side Ipswich Wanderers Ladies in the 1st round of the Suffolk County Cup a close result Town going through with a 2-1 win. Needham Market receiving a bye.

Both sides with a walk over in the 2nd Round with their opponents pulling out. A home draw for both in the quarter finals with Ipswich at home to Suffolk Women’s Division One side, Brantham Athletic Ladies a big score ranked up with Ipswich finding form in front of goal winning the game 14-0. Needham Market at home playing title rivals and Suffolk Women’s Division Champions, East Bergholt United Ladies. A fantastic result seeing Needham Market edge East Bergholt out winning the game 2-1.

The semi-finals to be held at neutral venues, Ipswich were meant to be taking on last season’s finalists AFC Sudbury Ladies, however the ERWFL Premier Division side struggling for numbers throughout the campaign made the decision to pull out sending Ipswich unopposed through to another final. Needham Market taking on Haverhill Rovers Ladies at Long Melford FC, a 4-1 victory sending them through to their 2nd final of the season.

The final returning to Portman Road the home of Ipswich Town FC having hosted the final back in the 2015/16 Ipswich winning 8-0 against Norfolk Division Two side Kirkley & Pakefield Ladies. Another leading stadium within a county in the East and beyond hosting their Women’s County Cup Final, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire too showcasing the women’s game a tell to how much the game is growing. A fantastic opportunity for both sets of players the pitch immaculate. The lights on the upper tier filling with supporters. Overcast the threat of rain in the air. 

Needham Market Women starting XI – Amber Leeks, Niamh Thomas, Megan Stock (C), Maria Smith, Nicola Henderson, Elysia Young, Emily Steward, Amber Sparkes, Laura Tuley, Francesca Rainbird & Lois Balfour. Subs – Amy Dunn, Milly Carter, Isobel Chaplin, Ashleigh Goddard & Abbie Wilkinson.

 Ipswich Town Women starting XI – Sian Fagg, Nicole Pannifer, Eva Hubbard, Aimee Stretch, Lindsey Cooper, Paige Wakefield, Amanda Crump (C), Amy Nash, Zoe Cossey, Natasha Thomas & Charlotte Kellett. Subs – Danni Clarke, Jac Ball, Flo Cage, Sophie Welton & Toni-Anne Wayne.

(roll on roll off substitutes)

  Ipswich to get this season’s Suffolk Women’s County Cup Final underway kicking-off the 1st half wearing blue shirts and socks with white shorts, Needham Market kitted out all in red, captain Megan Stock taking her place in the back-line having recovered form what looked like a nasty knee injury in the League Cup Final a week ago. Needham Market pressing the ball from the start keep Ipswich inside their own half. A free-kick awarded top of the centre circle as Laura Tuley getting hold of the ball for Needham Market in attack is upended, the ball played high into the box defended by Amy Nash the clearance sent back into the area claimed by goalkeeper Sian Fagg.

  Ipswich attack Zoe Cossey left sending Eva Hubbard on from left back bombing forwards her diagonal ball into the box met by Natasha Thomas her touch deflecting the ball goalwards, safely held by Needham Market goalkeeper Amber Leeks back on her line. Charlotte Kellett one of those impressing for the U21s side for Ipswich moves out to the right with the ball cutting it back into the area for Thomas near side on her quickly can’t adjust to get a shot away before the Needham Market defence close and clear. 

  The flag up against both sides in quick succession Cossey going too early in the left for Ipswich, Lois Balfour through the middle for Needham Market following a great ball forwards from Elysia Young. Niamh Thomas does well at right back to tackle  Natasha Thomas inside the box as the Ipswich attacker bombs forwards with the ball left, Maria Smith clearing the ball. Kellett latching on to the ball from a Needham market goalkick moves left to get into a crossing position flights a great ball into the box Thomas rising to head the ball knocking it down towards goal grabbed by Leeks.

   Having had vocal support at the League Cup Final the Needham Market fans within the crowd were in good voice, that stirring the Ipswich supporters into action a good atmosphere in the stands adding to the occasion. Thomas playing the ball forwards for Ipswich into the left channel, Kellett their supporting Cossey getting the ball in the box tackled the ball behind for the corner. An inswinging ball by Nash claimed high on her line by Leeks. Thomas busy in defence at right back for Needham market as Cossey looks to attack Kellett sending the pass into her run the defender doing well to stick her foot in take the ball. 

Ipswich Town Women’s Zoe Cossey

  Needham Market trying to get there strikers into the game whenever they can a ball long into the right chased down by Balfour her cross into the box cleared by Lindsey Cooper. The ball out from the back has Cossey attacking left checking back top of the area curls a cross in towards the six yard box, Ipswich captain, Amanda Crump meeting it n the volley the ball straight at and held by Leeks. Needham Market doing okay in the early stages mostly defensive Stock vocal leading well, Young in midfield looking to find a forwards ball. Hubbard latching onto a loose ball in the middle bursting on into the area stopped by Thomas, Nicola Henderson clearing.

Needham Market’s Nicola Henderson

  Amber Sparkes playing the ball through for Balfour in attack, Aimee Stretch getting in front of her in defence for Ipswich to guide the ball back to her keeper. First Thomas, then Kellett fouled to the right attacking for Ipswich 30 yards out Paige Wakefield sending both free-kicks high. Ipswich press forwards numbers in attack looking for the opening goal Cossey left he cross long Nash jumping far post can’t reach it. Emily Steward with a rare opportunity to attack for Needham Market looking to combine with Tuley in attack the return pass cut out at the back.

  Kellett in behind off a Needham Market throw misjudged on the left to the byline cuts her cross back central the ball met by Crump driven goalwards Leeks diving to her right making a fantastic save pushing the ball behind for a corner. Put in from the left Cooper up from the back heading the back wide of the near post. 

 GOAL! 27 minutes played and Ipswich’s pressure brings the opening goal attacking down the right the ball crossed in to the near side top of the six yard box Leeks coming to claim doesn’t get it fall straight into the path of Kellett beyond and she sends it into the back of the net. 1-0.

Charlotte Kellett with the opening goal at Portman Road

  Young back to help in defence for Needham Market top of the area tackling Crump as she looks for a one two with Kellett. Thomas looking lively for Ipswich and hungry to score coming on right side holding the ball up finds room to get a shot away the effort over the bar. Cossey lets out a roar of frustration as she sees her 25 yard strike held by Leeks as she is given the ball by Crump. Henderson putting in the tackle to deny Thomas as she threatens to run in behind. Pace in the Needham Market side penned back they can’t exploit it their attacking players seeing little of the ball. 

  Henderson carrying the ball out from the back for Needham Market forwards to Balfour looks to send the ball on for Tuley who is upended. The free-kick played up towards the top of the area Ipswich heading it away. Ipswich creating and getting numbers on haven’t found the clinical edge yet. Needham Market battling, Francesca Rainbird wanting to get forwards more often than not supporting Stock in defence on the left. The game entering the final 5 minutes of the 1st half. 

Post! Cossey getting hold of the ball on the left dribbling inside 25 yards out drawing the attention of the Needham Market defence, Thomas slipping into a gap near post as Cossey sends her the pass she sends the ball on towards goal cannons off the base of the upright. Wakefield with the ball on for Cossey left cuts back and sends a shot long past the far post. Cossey continues to be a menace on the left getting away to cross the ball falls to Crump at the back stick strikes a shot in towards goal, Leeks with another fine stop diving to push the ball wide. 

Into injury time Ipswich push forwards looking for another goal. Needham Market although on the back foot for long spells haven’t been overwhelmed and to keep it at 1-0 going into the changing rooms a great achievement. Cossey getting down to the byline sending the ball back towards the near post Thomas with the well timed run meeting her puts the ball straight into Leeks. 

  GOAL! Right on the stroke of half-time Ipswich get the 2nd goal they wanted, Crump bringing the ball on lays it on for Thomas breaking away into the area right of goal, hits it well putting the ball across the goalkeeper into the bottom corner. 2-0.

Half-time Ipswich Town Women 2-0 Needham Market Women

  A crucial goal right on the stroke of half-time for Ipswich Town Women to see them finish a strong 1st half leading the Suffolk Women’s County Cup final 2-0. Have been the dominant side by far and created plenty of chances not as clinical as they would like so far but you can only soak up so much pressure. Needham Market doing okay creating nothing in attack as of yet Ipswich getting the ball forwards with intent regularly Young doing well in the middle trying to break up attacks Ipswich though with options all over the pitch. The 2nd goal so late a blow a 1-0 deficit going along way to encourage Needham Market heading into the 2nd half.

Needham Market to get the 2nd half underway their supporters shouting encouragement. Ipswich get hold of the ball straight away however Thomas getting on through the middle her run stopped by Smith. 

GOAL! The worst possible start to the 2nd half for Needham Market as their opponents go further in front the ball played into Thomas left of goal as she enters the box catching it with the outside of her boot lifts the ball on past the keeper into the top corner to score her 2nd of the game and see Ipswich lead 3-0.

Ipswich Town Women attacker, Natasha Thomas (picture credit Gary Reed)

  Needham Market look to be positive the ball played long for Rainbird looking to get away down the left wing the flag halting her progress.

  GOAL! 3 minutes gone in the 2nd half and Ipswich take full control of the final getting a 4th goal. Cossey with the ball left on for Crump bursting forwards the Ipswich captain moving left down the line with the ball at her feet getting into the box close to the byline the angle against her nevertheless strikes it goalwards the ball squeezing under Leeks and inside the post as she goes down for it 4-0.

Ipswich captain, Amanda Crump (picture credit Gary Reed)

  Thomas moving left has support from Hubbard getting on the ball played inside to Cossey she takes it on shooting from 25 yards out Leeks claiming it. Niamh Thomas out to charge down the ball as Hubbard gets on down the left attacking for Ipswich. Stock in to clear for Needham Market her side a little shell shocked at the start to the 2nd half. Young with a fantastic ball long to the left Rainbird and Tuley after it, Cooper in between intercepting taking the ball to the left Tuley in to nick it turns back into the area, getting a shot away as Cooper slides in the ball blocked by the defender and Fagg in goal. 

  Cossey up the other end getting a shot away from distance, forcing Leeks to tip the ball over. Thomas surging into the box getting in behind shooting from the angle the goalkeeper parrying it behind for a corner right side put in central headed down, Rainbird on the post blocking for Needham Market. Ipswich strong in attack coming forwards with more intent Thomas moving across the back line to make herself available, Crump with several good runs from the middle to support. 

  Changes for both sides, with Milly Carter on for Steward, a double switch for Ipswich Stretch and Pannifer off at the back, Flo Cage and Jac Ball on. The support hasn’t been dampened in good voice another well supported final with 769 in attendance. 

   GOAL! close to an hour on the clock and Ipswich extend their lead further a fine individual goal for Nash as she attacks right, breaking on into the area stays on her feet as Henderson tackles, the evading Stock sliding in the ball sent across the keeper and inside the side netting to see Ipswich go 5-0 up.

Ipswich’s Amy Nash with Needham Market’s Francesca Rainbird (picture credit Gary Reed)

   Nash coming off then replaced by Sophie Welton, Natasha Thomas off too with Toni-Anne Wayne. The substitutes looking to link on the right in attack straight away Smith doing the defending for Needham Market. A double switch for Needham Market then with Smith and Balfour coming off for Amy Dunn and Ashleigh Goddard. Cossey keeps trying her luck from distance another shot sailing over the bar. Needham Market aren’t deterred prepared to attack and try and get forwards whenever they can, Ipswich’s movement and counter attacking dangerous.

  GOAL! 67 minutes on the clock and Ipswich score another with Wayne running in behind onto a long ball taking it into the box staying composed as she is closed down clever with her movement away left any tackle likely to result in a penalty she closes in on the keeper and slots it past Leeks to score. 6-0.

 Dunn does well making a recovering tackle to concede the corner as Kellett gets forwards into the box. 

  GOAL! 3 minutes after taking a 6 goal lead Ipswich moving the ball well in attack score a well worked 7th, Crump with it at her feet on the left level with the top of the area passing it inside to Kellett central she sends it on to Welton ahead of her right of goal six yards out she shoots across the keeper to find the bottom corner 7-0.

  GOAL! A purple patch from Ipswich as they add an 8th in quick succession Kellett bringing the ball on through the middle on for Wayne in behind inside the box sets up Crump forwards with her on the her left for a simple tap in to make it 8-0.

  Ipswich running away with it now Needham Market making a change with Abbie Wilkinson on for Tuley. Ipswich substitute their goalkeeper Fagg off, Danni Clarke going on between the sticks. Ipswich who are restricted to three substitutes in the FAWNL rolling the changes at Portman Road in the County Cup make multiple changes towards the end of the game. Stock having battled for Needham Market coming off Smith returning to the action. 

  Needham Market despite the heavy scoreline continue with their positive intent getting forwards cheered on whenever they get the ball Sparkes through the middle stopped by Cage. Rainbird bursting forwards showing what she can do in attack getting in behind into the box one on one with the keeper, Clarke does well saving at her feet. Henderson prepared to bring the ball out of defence onto Young her pass for Wilkinson intercepted. Rainbird with Sparkes left Jac Ball cutting out finding Cossey central she puts it on for Crump top of the area she shoots over. 

  Thomas passing to Wakefield running on into the area left side her strike goalwards saved by Leeks the loose ball gathered by Welton 20 yards out her shot put over. Henderson defending as Wayne attacks conceding a corner on the right the ball met by Wayne near post her header dropping over. Thomas getting in behind 25 yards out tees up Wayne to send a shot in goalwards the ball smashing down off the crossbar. Wakefield taking the ball on plays a one two with Crump central before seeing her shot drop wide of goal. 

  Into added time Rainbird bursting clear right into the box taking the ball in close the the keeper placing it wide of her inside the near post, the crowd cheer seeing a Needham Market goal scored at Portman Road or so they thought Rainbird’s joy short-lived a chorus of boo’s ringing out at the sight of the flag raised for offside. Young winning the ball back high up the pitch on for Sparkes 25 yards out her low shot gathered by Clarke late on.

Full time Ipswich Town Women 8-0 Needham Market Women

  Full time and Ipswich Town Women celebrate winning the County Cup once again matching the scoreline the last time they graced Portman Road winning 8-0. Found the clinical edge not with them 2nd half taking full advantage o Needham Market’s inexperience and as they tired create goal scoring opportunities taking their chances well. Showing good movement going forwards and using the space to full advantage, an early 3rd goal 2nd half putting them in full control after scoring at the death in the first half.

These defeats hurt, will take the gloss of what Needham Market Women have acheived the score raw in the memory, but over time those achievements will return, a goal would have been nice at Portman Road but it wasn’t to be. A great occasion nonetheless. In the end runners-up in all three competitions but to be in contention for a possible treble just months after forming is amazing and for Needham Market Women this is just the beginning.

Needham Market Women thanking their supporters

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Time for tonight’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match a few players to mention, for Needham Market, Elysia Young in midfield and Nicola Henderson at the back standing out. For Ipswich, Zoe Cossey was a threat all game running with the ball an unlucky not to be on the scoresheet. Natasha Thomas did score two goals crucial to either side of half-time great movement and desire shown in attack runs tonight’s winner close with Ipswich captain Amanda Crump getting the award make some fantastic runs forwards and scoring two herself whilst setting up chances for others.

Ipswich Town Women, 2018/19 Suffolk Women’s County Cup winners

  Congratulations to Ipswich Town Women on winning a 5th successive Suffolk Women’s County Cup.

 Not the pre-match to a game I wanted but got there in the end and enjoyed the game Portman Road a great venue, a fantastic crowd in support. My thanks to those that helped me out and thanks to Gary Reed for the additional pictures used.

Match Report – Norwich City Ladies v Ipswich Town Women

Wednesday 13th February

FAWNL South East Division One

 A spot of midweek football action this Wednesday evening with a trip up the A47 to watch the East Anglian Derby match between Norwich City Ladies & Ipswich Town Women at Plantation Park the two sides meeting just 4 days after the men’s clubs went head to head at Carrow Road.

  Both these sides stalwarts of the FAWNL South East Division One as it’s currently known have seen it’s many guises over recent season’s remains the 4th tier in the women’s football pyramid. Both East Anglian clubs with ambitions to climb out of Division One and into the Southern Premier Division above.

 Ipswich lay in 7th spot going into this evenings game with Norwich a place and 2 points behind in what is a tightly contest league once again this season a real tussle for position in the middle of the table any team getting a run of results going likely to find themselves in the top 5 or higher such is the competition, Crawley Wasps Ladies aside who have a 100% after 10 played to lead the way look strong contenders for the title and promotion.

 A change of coaching personnel towards the end of last for Norwich, Grant Palmer in charge of the 1st team now. The side languishing at the wrong end of the season for a couple of seasons prior, have improved this campaign a good balance of youth and experience, fitness also worked on results and performances see them looking to push up the table instead off getting dragged into relegation zone. 4 wins to date in the league two of those coming under the lights including their 1st win of the season a 1-0 result away to Ipswich in the reverse fixture.

  Carla Dickinson taking over as 1st team manager at Ipswich Town Women at the beginning of the season worked with Grant Palmer at Norwich prior to taking on the head coaches role. Taking charge of a side challenging at the top end of the league recently, has brought in several new faces to the squad, amongst them Toni-Anne Wayne now enjoying playing an outfield role after keeper goal for Tottenham Hotspur Ladies for a number of season prior. Midfielder Ceira Flatt joining from Acle United Women, with two new signings announced on the eve of this evenings derby, Amy Nash and Georgia Box joining from Billericay Town Ladies, a over that sees Kerry Stimson and Laken Duchar Clark head in the opposite direction. Recent form against Ipswich with just the one point collected from their last 4 league games.

  A good atmosphere building at Plantation Park before the game the positive result for the Canaries on Sunday seeing the timing of this evenings derby match spot on, the club hoping the feel good factor will see an increased attendance and it looked positive with a crowd in excess of 230. The pitch at Plantation Park seeing plenty pf action, offering plenty of width is a good size the bar overlooking one goal a small seated stand along one side of the pitch. Has been a mild day, dry the evening air cooling but no chance of rain.

Norwich City Ladies starting XI – Hope Armstrong, Tigi Robson, Alice Parker, Sasha Diston (C), Laura Tacker, Jodie Drake, Millie Daviss, Reeanna Cook, Aimee Durrant, Kathryn Stanley & Natasha Snelling. Subs – Eliza McDonald, Keunna Dill, Christina Papadopolou, Rosie George & Chelsea Garrett.

Ipswich Town Ladies starting XI – Sian Fagg (C), Jac Ball, Gemma Moore, Hannah Petley, Florence Cage, Jordan Arnoup, Cassie Craddock, Natasha Thomas, Zoe Cossey, Amy Nash & Toni-Anne Wayne. Subs – Danni Clarke, Sophie Welton, Paige Wakefield, Ciera Flatt & Georgia Box.

 New signing Amy Nash starts for Ipswich with fellow new signing Georgia Box on the bench for Ipswich the visitors kitted out in blue shirts and socks with white shorts. Norwich wearing yellow shirts, green shorts and yellow and green banded socks the home side to kick off the game under the lights. The hosts playing the ball out to Aimee Durrant getting forwards on the right wing, Jac Ball dealing with the threat for Ipswich heading the ball back to goalkeeper Sian Fagg wearing the captains armband.

 Ipswich get straight down the other end the ball played on for Toni_Anne Wayne moving out to the right squares the ball back across the top of the Norwich area for Natasha Thomas back to goal she helps it on into the path of Jac Ball racing on on the left takes on the shot from the angle hits it well rising her powerful strike smashes against the crossbar.

Norwich build from the back the ball played on up the left side Kathryn Stanley giving chase, Gemma Moore getting to the ball just before the attacker clears it for the throw. Norwich look to plough a path through the middle of the park Millie Daviss with support from Reeanna Cook and Natasha Snelling, Florence Cage and Hannah Petley playing in the centre of defence for Ipswich close the door break up the attack.

The ball intercepted at the back Laura Thacker for Norwich playing the ball into Jodie Drake in midfield, sees the ball into her feet well turns cleverly sending an over the top pass on for Durrant breaking right, Fagg reacts quickly getting out to lay claim to it before the winger can pounce. A good tempo to the game both sides looking to move the ball quickly, Ipswich pressing Norwich.

Daviss and Cook look to combine through the centre of midfield as they drive forwards a tackle seeing the ball pop loose into the path of Snelling she sends it on over the defence into the area, Durrant alert to it however Fagg can safely claim it first. Jordan Arnoup picking the ball up in midfield for Ipswich plays a good early ball out to the right for Amy Nash to go after, Alice Parker recovering to get across her the full back can see it out for a goal kick.

Zoe Cossey moving right keeps the ball well beating three players as she looks to come inside the Ipswich attackers shot saved by Norwich goalkeeper Hope Armstrong at her near post the ball behind for a corner. The high ball in cleared back to the taker on the right side, Norwich winning in back look to counter, Cossey with a superb tackle regaining possession driving on from 30 yards out cuts inside closing in on the area unleashes a shot the dipping ball cannoning off the crossbar once gain.

   A couple of over exuberant challenges coming in both sides getting on with it however. Ipswich continuing their bright start attack down the left side a driving run and shot from Ball, Armstrong coming across her goal claiming it. Norwich starting to gain a little momentum the ball won in the middle, Jodie Drake on for Cook she plays the pass on for Durrant breaking forwards on the right wing her cross/shot into the area held safely by Fagg at her near post.

  GOAL! 15 minutes on the board and Norwich take the lead strong build-up play in the middle the move beginning with Cook a powerful run forwards on the ball support from Daviss to her right the two drive on the ball played into Snelling back to goal 20 yards out central, holds it up Cook continuing forward moves left the ball coming into her she controls to take the ball away from her body and setting herself curls a fine strike past the keeper and into the back of the net 1-0.

    Cook with good work to win the ball once again in the middle looks to release Stanley on the left side, Florence Cage getting out to her to tackle and regain the ball for Ipswich. Nash doing well on the right an experienced player able to get the ball in behind her full back the tempo remains high Norwich pacy in their build up play. Snelling peeling away to the left sees her cross into the area taken by Fagg. Cossey looking to take something happen in the final 3rd lays the ball inside for Cassie Craddock the midfielder closed down by Norwich captain Sasha Diston outside the area.

   Daviss wins the ball in the midfield is quick to play the pass on for Snelling breaking forwards moving right, Ball defends for Ipswich. Snelling back to goal outside the area sees the ball into her feet holding off her marker lays in back for the onrushing Drake her shot charged down by Hannah Petley. Craddock with the pass to pick out Nash getting clear on the right she squared a cross along to top of the Norwich area the ball cleared by Laura Thacker before Wayne can reach it.

  The ball is pinging about in midfield as players from both sides close each other down, Ipswich managing to get it clear on for Nash running away on the right closing in on the byline lays the ball back inside Wayne taking on the first time strike can’t keep her shot down. Cage with some great defensive work closing down Snelling as Stanley breaking on the right plays the ball inside to the attacker. Cook lifts the ball on central for Snelling looking to bring it down under control as she closes down Cage the Ipswich defender doing well under pressure to deny a shooting opportunity.

  A free-kick for Ipswich wide right level with the top of the Norwich area the ball fired into Nash position top right hand corner she drives a shot in through the crowd, Armstrong seeing it late down well to parry it away the ball loose latched onto by Thomas hits it hard close range Armstrong making another great stop to stop Ipswich levelling the scores with less than 10 minutes of the 1st half left to play. 

  Norwich get up the other end a throw won on the right dropped into Daviss she surges forwards knocking the ball on trying to get into the area Snelling with her the door shut the ball cleared is latched onto by either Cook or Drake 25 yards out a low shot driven in coming through bodies Fagg is well positioned to drop and claim the ball. Norwich finishing the half well pushing forwards Stanley into Snelling more good hold up play before sending the pass out to Drake making a run right of her takes on the shot lacks the power trouble Fagg. A good tackle from Tigi Robson stops a late Ipswich attack as the visitors look to break in behind on the wing.

Half-time Norwich City Ladies 1-0 Ipswich Town Women

  Norwich holding the slender lead at the break. The game played at a good tempo the half racing by. Ipswich starting well striking the woodwork twice and denied too with a terrific double save from Armstrong. Norwich grew into the game good build-up play purposeful and with pace Cook taking her goal very well to see the hosts leading. All set up for another intriguing 45 minutes play.

  Norwich making a change at half-time Stanley the player subbed on comes Chelsea Garrett, making her return after a 3 month long injury lay off. It’s Ipswich to get things underway in the 2nd half.

   GOAL! The ball played out to the right wing, Robson over that side now winning the ball for Norwich put up field centrally Garrett running onto the ball breaks in behind and races for the box let’s fly from the top of the area the ball racing past Fagg and into the back of the net, a perfect start to the 2nd half for Norwich and a scoring return for Garrett moments after coming on 2-0.

  A blow for Ipswich right at the start of the 2nd half, no time to get into place any game plan talked about at half-time. Norwich gaining confidence Durrant getting clear on the right wing driving on sweeps a cross in centrally, Cook getting her head on it top of the area left of the D the ball looping up and wide of goal. Cossey as busy as ever in the middle off the park gaining possession running on putting the ball on into Wayne she spins tries to play the ball on for Nash to get in behind on the right, just too much weight on the pass. 

  Cossey central brings the ball on laying it out to Nash left of her outside the Norwich area Arnoup central, Nash plays her in she sends it out for Thomas breaking into the area to her right comes inside shooting from close range Armstrong making the blocking save. Ipswich make their first change of the game with Craddock coming of Paige Wakefield coming on. Garrett adding a threat centrally in attack for Norwich, Snelling coming left the midfielders sitting back more. Thomas pushes on down the right, in behind Robson, Diston coming across slides into the challenge the ball out for a throw. Cossey gathering the ball turns and drives towards the top of the area, strikes the ball well her effort fired wide across Armstrong’s goal. 

  Durrant is finding space on the right as Ipswich push up played in behind she is quick on the ball taking it down the line fires an inviting ball into the six yard box Garrett their looks set to turn it in but for the timely arrival of Moore the right back with a fine piece of defensive work in a dangerous area. Ipswich with a throw high on the right into Wayne given to Cossey she comes inside along the top of the area slips as she goes to shoot the ball harmlessly through to the keeper. Nash this time wide on the left for Ipswich taking the ball to the byline fires a ball in across goal Wayne meeting it first time the shot blocked Thomas closed down as she tries to latch onto the loose ball.

   Just over an hour played and Nash’s work is done for the evening a good debut. Her replacement Sophie Welton who takes up a position on the right. Soon after Norwich make their 2nd change Snelling coming off on comes Christina Papadopolou, the Greek player making her 3rd appearance for Norwich. 65 minutes played.

  Norwich playing the better 2nd half pushing forwards well as a unit win a corner right side the ball delivered into Garrett position central outside the box turns the ball into the box her low strike racing wide of goal. Ipswich win a free-kick inside the Norwich half, Arnoup over the ball plays it high into the box, Diston under it heading firmly clear for Norwich. The game opening up Ipswich counter attack Wakefield getting furthest forwards tries to take the ball on into the area is stopped by Thacker, Norwich turning the attack around counter themselves Durrant still full of energy bursting away right side fires a low cross into the area Cook meeting it 8 yards out her near post shot saved well by Fagg pushed behind for the corner. 

  Norwich are getting stronger as the 2nd half progresses Ipswich looking a little disjointed are getting out of shape a few last gasp challenges made as Garrett breaks forwards with support to her left and right, Arnoup going into the book following a strong tackle sliding in 25 out. The resulting shot from the free-kick dropping wide of goal. Welton getting forwards on the right for Ipswich her cross into the box gets through the defensive comes into Thomas unexpectedly gets a first time shot away the attempt sliced wide of goal.

Durrant clear again right side as a deflected ball in the middle loops in behind the Ipswich defence, Cage  and then Ball get back to defend, trying to get out Norwich close the ball down regain possession in the final third the cross played in Garrett with the shot central the ball claimed by Fagg. Cossey has picked up a knock comes off with 12 minutes to go, Georgia Box coming on to make her Ipswich debut. Durrant is showing no signs of fatigue breaks away right again lays the ball in central Garrett attempting a deft header for Papadopolou, the ball headed clear by Petley.

   Wakefield links up with Welton on the right for Ipswich the midfielder laying the ball out to the winger receiving the return pass inside the area her shot held by Armstrong covering her near post. Norwich remain lively win a corner right side a good delivery into the six yard box Fagg  doing well amongst the crowd to get a firm fist on the ball. The ball collected far side the ball back in a tackle seeing it deflected behind for another corner, Norwich taking the opportunity to make a change it’s the taker Durrant coming off, on in her place a Keumma Dill for her first Norwich appearance studying at the University of East Anglia is a Burmudian International.

  The corner coming in high claimed by Fagg she launches an attack Ipswich getting the ball out to the right, Parker over that side winning the tackle for Norwich the ball out for a throw, end to end in the closing stages of the game, Garrett breaking with the ball tackled by Cage, the ball put up field Box has it left outside the box Ball around her on the overlap played in her low cross fired into the area cleared by the back tracking Drake. 

 GOAL! Into the final five minutes a free-kick to Norwich on halfway the ball played out to the left onto the path of Cook the young midfielder driving forwards turning towards the area and shoots a powerful strike racing past Fagg into the bottom corner to assure the 3 points for Norwich 3-0. 

  The hosts remain full of energy Cook combining through the middle with Garrett central Cage putting an end to the move. Dill with the ball right cuts it inside with Cook running on, she attempt to slide the ball into the area for Garrett, Fagg can lay claim to it before the attacker. One last attack for Ipswich the ball played on Wayne doing well chasing it down top of the area holding it up getting the pass into Box arriving left side her shot scooped up into the area taken cleanly by Armstrong. 

Full time Norwich City Ladies 3-0 Ipswich Town Women

  3-0 win to Norwich the 3 points seeing them leap frog Ipswich in the South East Division One and leaves them just a point off the top half. By far the stronger side in the 2nd half an early goal in the 2nd period helping the cause working well together gaining confidence and maintaining great energy levels throughout. Enjoy playing under the lights this their 3rd league win this season in mid-week. Buoyed by a good sized crowd wiling them on. Were clinical in their chances with 3 well taken goals.

  Ipswich starting the game well creating opportunities and could have had the lead themselves. Became a little disjointed as the game wore on not reading each other as well as Norwich were, individuals at times plenty of talent it wasn’t happening for them tonight.

 Breaking news as I finish up this match report with Carla Dickinson stepping down from her role as Head Coach, sorry to hear and wish Carla all the best for the future.

Women’s Football East – Player of the Match

  Onto this evening’s Women’s Football East – Player of the Match, a few contenders for Norwich, will mention Zoe Cossey for Ipswich first some great runs with the ball is hard to tackle when she gets going created several openings. For Norwich a fine double stop from Hope Armstrong. Aimee Durrant might have stopped running by now a threat on the right all game especially 2nd half. Chelsea Garrett with a immediate attack kept the Ipswich defence busy. Reeanna Cook gets the award however with some fantastic work in midfield winning the ball getting involved in the forward play adding pace and urgency to the attack and taking her two goals superbly.

  An enjoyable game under the lights good to see a decent crowd, my thanks to both clubs for their help with the teams.