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Sunday 1st November
Norwich City 1-3 Ipswich Town
Ipswich Line-up –
Williamson (GK), Hubbard (c), Cooper, Peake, Adamson, Lafayette, Allen, King, Peskett, Grey, Thomas
Meollo, Sutherland, Barrett, Egan, Abrehart, Rossiter
They say it’s the games you play poorly in but still come out with a win that count come the end of the season. Although this was a cup game, it was a tough one at that. The score-line doesn’t always tell the full story at the full time whistle and that stands for this game. The 2nd half seemed to be a struggle for Joe Sheehan’s side as they continually tried to break down the Norwich door but found themselves short of an outcome.
Ipswich have made a habit this season of scoring early and that continued against Norwich when Anna Grey ran to the byline and pulled the ball back for Eloise King to place into the bottom corner. Town seemed to take confidence from that early goal but still couldn’t get a foothold in the game as Norwich were more than happy to shut them down in the middle of the park and not give them time to play their own game. The Canaries were threatening the Ipswich goal from the early stages but Lucy Williamson was determined to get another clean sheet against her name.
Sophie Peskett found the net again as she got on the end of Eloise King’s through ball and slotted it past the onrushing keeper. Sophie has been one of our stand out players in the opening fixtures and her energy today proved she has a lot more to give the team in the coming games.
Paige Peake stepped up to score another free kick, putting it into the top corner and leaving the keeper with no chance. This was after she struck another free kick onto the cross bar earlier on in the first half.
After the break was when things got tough for Ipswich. Their Norfolk based rivals came out looking to play on the counter attack and it worked. Sitting back and closing down any possession in the midfield, forcing them to go back instead of forward put the team at a loss of causing Norwich problems. Ipswich did create some chances in the second half, coming from the wide players but a well organised Norwich defence was keeping them out.
Ipswich kept solid and it was only a mistake from a short Town corner that allowed Norwich to counter attack and see Keunna be put through 1 on 1 with Lucy Williamson and slot the ball into the far corner of the net.
The Ups and Downs –
It was a bit of a back step in terms of performance for the Tractor Girls but many will say it’s the result that matters. Town advance into the next round of the cup but Joe Sheehan will be looking for a big improvement on the pitch when they travel to Leyton Orient next Sunday, assuming it goes ahead with the new lockdown coming into play on Thursday.
On a brighter note, Eloise continued her scoring form against the Canaries and some good team work down the left side between Grey and Hubbard saw them cause a headache for the Norwich Right Back.
Player Of The Match –
This was probably the toughest pick so far this season as there wasn’t any really stand out performances. But in the first half, Anna Grey run the left side of the pitch ragged. Hitting the byline to find Eloise in the box for the opening goal and then creating lots of chances for her team mates in the box. I thought the link up play between Anna and Eva was really encouraging and Norwich struggled to keep tabs on them and stop their crosses. Most of the play in the first half eventually went down that side of the pitch, just because of how much trouble it was causing Norwich. Anna’s performances this season seem to get better and better with each game and she deserved this POTM for the chances she created for the team.
Post Match with Joe –
“I think we started well, scored early. Some elements of some good play”
“Bit disappointed we didn’t build on the good start we had”
“Second Half, I’m a bit disappointed if I’m honest. We didn’t really capitalise and didn’t really look to impose ourselves”
I always feel derby games are awkward to overlook. You come down too hard and you risk taking the passion out of the game but you let things go and you risk losing control of the game. I feel Referee Harvey Newstead had a fairly decent game, although inconsistent with his decisions. A few times he gave a free kick for something he let go earlier in the game and this was the same for both sides, not just for Ipswich. Other than that, the majority of his performance was fairly decent. A few rough challenges from the home side but nothing where the ball wasn’t played or could be classed as malicious. We have had a lot worse officials in recent times. an 8/10 for me. More consistent decision making would have given him a 10.