Tractor Girls beaten in final home game

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Anna Grey, Sophie Peskett and Maddie Biggs pictured during the lap of honour - Credit: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town Women failed to capitalise on a chance to cement second place in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division after falling to a late 1-0 defeat to Oxford United at the Goldstar Ground in their final home game.

Both sides struggled to cope with the firm and fast surface, so it was no surprise that the game had limited meaningful moments.

Town had the first proper opening though on 29 minutes, with Anna Grey spinning her marker and dashing towards goal. Sadly her left-wing cross failed to find a blue shirt and the ball was eventually cleared.

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Ipswich Town Women players huddle - Credit: Ross Halls

Ten minutes later, Oxford’s Sophie Baker forced Sarah Quantrill into action after good work by Beth Lumsden, as the visitors finished the half on top.

The second half resumed in a similar pattern to the first, with frustration creeping in as neither side asserted their dominance.

A double change for the Blues on 61 minutes introduced the skilful Sarah Brasero-Carreira and more attacking presence through Natasha Thomas.

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Zoe Barratt in action against Oxford United - Credit: Ross Halls

Sadly this did little to shift the balance of the game in the Tractor Girls' favour, though a minute later the Blues would be presented with their best opening of the game.

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Once again Town number 11 Grey burst free of the Oxford backline, and despite being pulled back as she ran through, rounded Oxford keeper Rose Kite only to be denied at the second attempt.

With the game seemingly petering out to a 0-0 draw, Oxford struck the killer blow. Kyra Robertson had a shout for a foul in the build-up ignored as the away side broke forward, then in similar fashion to recent weeks, the Blues’ failure to clear their lines was punished.

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Maddie Biggs pictured during her 50th appearance for Ipswich Town Women - Credit: Ross Halls

Oxford’s Merrick Will made the most of the home side’s indecisiveness to fire a long range effort past Quantrill into the top corner, earning the away side all three points.

Further end of season heartbreak for Sheehan's side, in a game neither side really did enough to win on the balance of the full 90 minutes. Oxford are now the only opposition to double the Blues home and away this season.

Town conclude their season on the South Coast against Portsmouth this weekend, hoping to end the campaign positively.

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Anna Grey in action against Oxford United - Credit: Ross Halls

Town: Quantrill, Hughes, Smith (Biggs), Egan, Lafayette, Horwood (c), Robertson, King, O'Brien (Brasero-Carreira), Grey, Barratt (Thomas)

Unused: Meollo, A. Jackson

Attendance: 375

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Joe Sheehan applauding the fans after the defeat - Credit: Ross Halls