Tough start back in National League
Lots of positives to take forward
Ipswich SEVEN Women’s 1st team didn’t get the wining return to the National league that they wanted but the home side can take away a lot of positives from a dogged display.
The match started with Ipswich looking a tad nervous and St Albans showing a better first touch. From the off the away side looked to utilise a disguised slap pass and Ipswich were guilty of not reacting to this better.
Despite some heavy pressure the home side were working tirelessly and defending superbly well. GK Ali Olding making some great saves. A couple of harsh decisions saw St Albans awarded a run of PC’s but a mixture of poor traps at the top and some great Ipswich defending saw the danger pass.
Ipswich then had a chance to take the lead. A good breakaway saw the Suffolk side awarded a PC and the rebound off a Sophie Sexton strike fell nicely for the Ipswich forward but the ball went agonisingly wide.
With Ipswich still under pressure but defending well it looked like they had done enough to get to half time at 0-0 but on the 25th minute a good deflection finally saw their goal breached.
Despite the setback Ipswich continued to battle hard and when half time did arrive they were still very much in the game.
At the start of the second half coach Mariette Rix made a tactical change and Ipswich started to see much more of the ball. Player of the match Tabby Billingham in particular making some great runs through the midfield.
Ipswich though then suffered a further setback on the 46th minute. St Albans winning and converting stroke, despite the ball having hit their diving player on the arm in the build up.
Ipswich carried on taking the fight to the away team and again won a couple of corners after some good play down the left by Sarah Daley but the execution was not good enough and with time ticking out St Albans scored 2 further PC goals to seal a 4-0 win.
The scoreline did not reflect the match but the visitors deserved the 3 points and Ipswich will need to learn quickly that there are small margins at this level, that make a huge difference.
Ipswich travel to Cambridge City next Saturday for a 5pm start aware they face another very tough test.
Picture Credit: Chris Hobson