It is fair to say that Ipswich Seven HC W1s did not start as planned. Following an inspiring team talk by coach Mariette Rix, the team were excited to get on the pitch and consolidate their top of the league position.
Cambridge Uni started well, quickly piling on the pressure. It wasn’t long before Ipswich GK Ali Barham was called into action with a glove save. Within 5 minutes, Cambridge Uni won a PC, cleanly deflected past Barham and Lizzy Wheelhouse on the post to go 1-0 up.
Ipswich reacted slowly and struggled to get the ball out of the defence. It was joint players of the match, Captain Lucy Dunnett and Frankie Rogers who began to lift the team with both individual skills and passing through the midfield.
After a calm and positive team talk at halftime, Ipswich rallied themselves, but it was Uni who capitalised, with a break down the right hand side allowing two players to play the ball around Barham and into the goal for a 2-0 lead.
It was this goal which awakened Ipswich, Captain Dunnett took the lead with their first goal following a blinding run into the D and a cheeky reverse hit, chipping the sliding GK to start the Ipswich comeback.
It was soon the turn of Martin who ran riot through the midfield, consistently finding forwards Chloe Williams, Sarah Bamfield and Lizzy Wheelhouse. An aerial ball from Wheelhouse into Martin allowed Martin to get a shot off, with Grace Nichols playing the subsequent rebound neatly into the goal.
With the comeback now on with a 2-2 score line, solid tackles and transfers around the back by Kat Blake, Keisha Brickwood-Hilaire and Ellie Scott allowed the midfield to find space, with Rogers, Dunnett, Sarah Daley and Sophie Sexton pushing forwards with speed.
Going into the final two minutes, it was the Ipswich forward line of Williams, Kate Wingar and Olivia Buchanan consistently breaking down the Cambridge outlet which created a chance for Wheelhouse who was fouled right in front of goal.
The umpire blew for a PC immediately, but following a conversation with the second umpire, a PS was awarded. Captain Dunnett stepped up confidently and slotted the ball powerfully beyond the diving keeper to give Ipswich the lead for the first time in the game. With 1 minute to go, Ipswich finished strongly to win the 3 points, taking them 4 points clear at the top of the East Prem.
As we now enter another lockdown, the entire squad should be extremely proud of the way they have started this season, remaining the only team to have won every game. We look forward to being able to play again and continue our fight to promotion back to National League.
Photo credit Dave Burt.