Sunday 20th September
Ipswich Town 1-0 Hashtag United
Attendance – 221
Ipswich Line Up –
Runnacles (GK), Hubbard (c), Cooper, Peake, Rossiter, Egan (1x goal), Sutherland, Lafayette, Peskett, Barratt, Thomas
Williamson (GK), Biggs, King, Wakefield, Bryant
Hashtag United Line Up –
Riches (GK), Thomas, Debell, Gillard, Richards, Binding, Kelly, Abela, Clarke, Wealthall, Turner
Hill, Osborne, Paci, Smith
Lindsey Cooper’s selection for this game meant the big Centre Half has now played 200 competitive fixtures for the Tractor Girls. An announcement just before kick off was met by a large cheer and applause from the on watching Ipswich fans.
Key Events –
It didn’t take the match long to kick into action when a clear handball in the Hashtag United penalty area was missed by the referee and the linesman, much to the frustration of the Ipswich fans, players and staff.
Ipswich were on top and were unlucky when Molly Sutherland come close to breaking the deadlock. Hashtag started to come into the game and put pressure on the Ipswich defence which eventually saw Holly Turner break through, but an incredible save from Town keeper Nikita Runnacles tipped the ball onto the crossbar.
Ipswich come out in the second half and piled pressure on the Tags, but struggled to get that final touch in front of goal. A breakthrough finally come in the 53rd minute when a Paige Peake corner was crossed deep into the penalty area and a failed clearance by the Hashtag defender landed perfectly for Lucy Egan to volley a rocket of a shot into the top corner. Egan, who was playing in midfield rather than her usual Centre Half to cover injuries, put on a brilliant show thought the game.
Hashtag had to soak up a lot of pressure and struggled to cope with Sophie Peskett’s pace and agility, leaving defenders uneasy when facing the Winger.
The Ups and Downs –
On the opening day of the season, against one of the favourites to challenge the Tractor Girls for the title, Ipswich played a really good game and weren’t afraid to show their dominance and could have won by more if they were a bit more clinical in front of goal. Youngster, Zoe Barrett, had a brilliant one on one chance just before the Half Time whistle but the Tags keeper was equal to the finish and denied Town taking a lead into the break. Efforts from Sophie Peskett, Abbie Lafayette and Molly Sutherland in the First Half also went begging. On the downside, the Referee and Linesmen missed some very obvious decisions in the game, most notably the clear handball in the 1st minute of the game and also another handball penalty claim in the second half.
Player Of The Match –
I’m very torn between Lucy Egan and Sophie Peskett for this. Both players put in an excellent shift. Aside from the goal, Lucy Egan commanded the Midfield and caused the visitors a headache trying to play through the centre of the pitch. Her tackling was on point and wasn’t scared to throw herself into a challenge to win the ball back for her team. Sophie Peskett was an absolute nightmare for the Hashtag defence and they simply couldn’t cope with the winger. Her pace and close control of the ball seen her slip past her marker on a number of occasions and created plenty of chances for her team mates. One standout moment, in the first half, Peskett skipped past multiple Hashtag players and left the defence in her wake, going one on one with the keeper before seeing her effort saved.
Overall, 2 standout performances, but have to give this one to Sophie for putting on such a show and creating the chances.