Tractor Girls have to settle for a point after surrendering two-goal lead
Women’s National League Division One South East
Ipswich Town 2
Cambridge United 2
Ipswich Town Women looked set to bounce back from last week’s heavy defeat to Actonians, only to surrender a two goal lead and eventually draw 2-2 with Cambridge United at The Goldstar Ground in Felixstowe.
Cassie Craddock and Toni-Anne Wayne had put Town two goals to the good at the break but an own-goal from Harriet Petley and a long-range strike from Becky Shephard denied the Blues all three points.
Town started brightly, with Paige Wakefield calling Savannah Smith into action with a powerful free-kick. Zoe Cossey – a constant threat for Ipswich - had a couple of opportunities to give Town the lead early on but dragged both shots wide.
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However, the Blues finally took the lead after a stroke of fortune. Craddock’s deep free-kick sailed into the area, evading everyone on the way through and caught out Smith as the ball nestled in the far corner.
Cambridge were presented with a great opportunity to equalise soon after following a defensive mix-up between Jac Ball and goalkeeper Sian Fagg but Petley did excellently to get back and block the resulting shot.
Kelley Blanchflower perhaps had the visitors’ best chance of the half but couldn’t beat Fagg after getting in behind the Town defence.
Ipswich then rubbed salt into the wound, doubling their lead as Wayne’s dangerous corner caused havoc in the six-yard box before finding its way in the back of the net after a fumble from Smith.
The U’s responded well after the break and continued to pile the pressure on Town. To their credit, the Ipswich backline held their ground for a large part of the second-half but were undone in unfortunate circumstances.
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The Blues failed to clear their lines and in an attempt to hack away under pressure, Petley sliced the ball into her own net. Five minutes later and the comeback was complete. Shephard had acres of space in the middle of the field and let fly with a powerful side-footed effort, beating Fagg high to her right.
In the final moments, Town handed a debut to midfielder Ciera Flatt, who had only been signed from Acle United an hour prior to kick off and she almost had an instant impact, only for her clever through ball to get trapped under the weary legs of Wayne.
Town remain seventh in the Women’s National League Division One South East table and return to action next Sunday away to Enfield.