Heartbreak for Ipswich as they lose to last-second strike
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Investec East Conference
Ipswich were moments from their first point of the season, but suffered the heartache of conceding from a last-second penalty corner, writes Emma Millar.
The Suffolk side started the game well and were dominating play, immediately creating some attacking chances, Lizzy Wheelhouse causing endless problems for the visitor’s defence.
Despite the pressure, Ipswich could not convert possession into goals and as the first half ticked on the away side started to gain in confidence. The Ipswich defence held firm though, with some great tackles by Kat Blake.
Half-time saw the score line locked at 0-0 but with Ipswich confident that the match was there for the taking. Little did they know what the second half had in store...
The period saw Southgate step up the pressure and, when both sides received a green card, the game started to change. Ipswich lost some structure and then, when back up to 11 players, lost another player to a yellow card.
Ipswich were forced to defend deep and only some brilliant saves by keeper and player of the match Ali Barham kept the scores at 0-0. To make things harder Ipswich then lost Blake to an ankle injury.
With time ticking on, Ipswich were back to 11 but the fluidity from play was missing and with eight minutes to go the home side received a second yellow card.
It was now backs-to-the wall time and every player was giving their all to defend their goal.
With seconds left to go Southgate won a penalty corner, the first drag flick was saved brilliantly by Barham but it hit an Ipswich foot and was re-awarded and the away side had a second attempt to score.
Barham once more dived to make the save but despite getting a stick to it, the ball agonisingly crossed the line to give the away side the win.
Ipswich were left heartbroken but on reflection can look back knowing they deserved at least a point before poor discipline cost them. It is a harsh lesson, but one that will stand them in good stead going forward.
Next up is a tough away game against Harleston.