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Ipswich Town Women 9-0 Hounslow Women - Match Report
Sunday, 16th Jan 2022 18:25 by Richard Woodward

Ipswich Town Women shook off the frustration of last week’s draw with Portsmouth by putting Hounslow to the sword 9-0 (nine) at the Goldstar Ground.

Natasha Thomas continued her excellent scoring form with four goals, whilst Abbie Lafayette announced her return to the side with a brace - including a goal direct from a corner - plus three assists.

The return of Town number eight Lafayette was the only change from last week’s starting line-up. Olivia Smith was unavailable, so Lafayette took up a left-back position with Bonnie Horwood resuming a covering role at centre-back alongside Paige Peake. Anna Grey had more of a licence to roam in left midfield, following on from her impressive showing against Pompey.
Seeking to ensure beyond doubt that this game would play out according to the form book, the Blues seized the initiative from the off. A first-minute Horwood corner was directed towards goal by Peake only to be cleared off the line.

Minutes later, the Town skipper would create the opener, dashing past two defenders and pulling the ball back to Thomas to score from close range.
Two successive corners on 20 minutes would lead to goal number two. Lafayette’s deadly set pieces are a big weapon for the Tractor Girls having already helped to defeat title rivals Southampton back in November. 

After her first delivery created panic in the Hounslow backline forcing another corner, the second was inch perfect – completely out-foxing keeper Sophia Garrido and looping the ball straight into the net.
To the away side’s credit, they were energetic in trying to break up the Blues’ passing moves, but quality eventually told just before half-time. Gray fed Lafayette on the overlap who crossed for Maddie Biggs to turn in number three.
The Blues had been patient throughout and kept trying to play the right way. The incisive passing, off the ball movement and direct running provided the platform for the home side to attack at will in the second period against a tiring Hounslow.
Thomas had the ball in the net on 52 but was adjudged offside. This was one of many similar decisions throughout the game which were all harshly called against the home side.
The goalscoring would resume on 59 minutes though. Summer Hughes got in behind her marker down the Town right and fired a cross which Lafayette directed goalwards to make it four.
A flurry of mid-half substitutions by Town boss Joe Sheehan did nothing to temper the attacking ambition of the Tractor Girls and two of the subs combined on 75 minutes. Lucy O’Brien calmly played in Issy Bryant and her firm low shot was palmed out for a corner by Garrido.

Once again Lafayette delivered another pin-point centre and Thomas rose highest to head home her second - Town’s fifth.
The same pair nearly combined in identical fashion for goal number six on 84 minutes – this time Thomas’s effort was blocked and Peake’s volley on the rebound was well saved.
A minute later though it was six. Sub O’Brien spun smartly on halfway and played a defence splitting pass through for Thomas to score a deserved hat-trick – calmly rounding the keeper and slotting into the empty net.
There was time for Peake, an unsung member of this Town team in the heart of defence, to net a deserved goal. A clear foul on Biggs on the edge of the Hounslow box was punished by Peake from the resulting free-kick, placing her dead ball perfectly into the corner for number seven and even drawing applause from the opposition.
The goals didn’t stop in injury time. Biggs got her second, rounding the keeper in similar fashion to Thomas after being played through by Lafayette.

Thomas then netted her fourth, catching the Hounslow backline too far up the pitch and dashing through to again calmly round Garrido for number nine.
The scoreline fairly reflected the dominance shown by the home side, albeit Town were never really required to fire on all cylinders against a club sadly struggling adrift at the bottom of the Southern Premier Division.
Nevertheless, manager Sheehan will be pleased that his side played with patience and positivity – not seeking to force openings or resort to firing shots in from range.

Hounslow did press with energy in the first half, but that level of effort was always likely to fall away as the second half minutes ticked by.
Thomas is getting the rewards for her non-stop effort. Her four goals today mean it’s 15 goals for the season already and she leads the line for the Blues with menace.

The pace and direct running of Biggs, Zoe Barratt, Grey and Hughes provided constant threats out wide.

Additionally, the quality from set piece deliveries by Horwood, Lafayette and Peake are a danger to anyone at this level.
Town head to the South West next week to play Keynsham Town before a rare Wednesday night home game against Gillingham on the 26th.

The Blues remain top, six points ahead of Oxford in second having played a game more than the U's and seven in front of Southampton, who have three games in hand on Town.

Town: Quantrill, Hughes (O’Brien 64), Peake, Horwood (c), Lafayette, Grey, Robertson (A Jackson 60), King (Hubbard 60), Barratt (Bryant 64), Biggs, Thomas. Unused: L Jackson.

Photo: Ross Halls

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BlueandTruesince82 added 19:26 - Jan 16

dangerous30 added 22:22 - Jan 16
Well done ladies

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 16:54 - Jan 17
That's done our goal difference no harm at all. Keep it up, girls.

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