Lindsey Cooper scores winner as Ipswich Town Ladies beat Stevenage
FA WPL South East Division One
Ipswich Town Ladies 1
Centre-half Lindsey Cooper scored her second goal in two games to fire her side to back-to-back victories at the start of their FA WPL South East Division One campaign, writes Tom Mortlock.
In a match of few chances, her second half strike was enough to overcome their opponents, who have now suffered two defeats in two outings.
Both sides struggled to produce significant moments of quality during the first half. Zoe Cossey’s determined run after a quarter of an hour came to nothing for Town as she sliced her shot wide of the target, while the visitors were unlucky to see Amy Makewell’s effort cleared off the line by Sophie Welton.
The home side did manage to force the ball home with half an hour gone, but the eventual match-winner was adjudged to have illegally challenged Stevenage goalkeeper Katherine Long and the game remained goalless at the interval as a result.
It was a half more memorable for its injury stoppages than its chances, particularly with Town ‘keeper Leanne Smith being replaced by regular midfielder Sian Fagg between the sticks.
The contest’s key moment arrived with 58 minutes on the clock. Amanda Crump’s free-kick was not dealt with by the away side’s backline, allowing Cooper a route to the cross. Her initial effort was well blocked, but she made no mistake with the rebound, powerfully firing into the net with her left foot.
Stevenage’s most presentable opportunity to salvage a point from the match came soon after the opener. Donna McGuigan’s through ball played in Nicole Emmings but her attempted lob on the volley flew over the bar with Fagg off her line.
Aside from this dangerous opening, the Blues saw out the win with relative comfort to maintain their 100% record so far this season. The result sees Ipswich go third in the league, level on points with Actonians and Luton Town but behind them due to goal difference.
Town’s first big test will come in their next fixture, when they travel to face Cambridge United, who defeated them 4-1 and 5-0 in last season’s games.
Town side: Smith (Fagg), Ball, Cooper, Cage, Hubbard, S Welton, Crump, Craddock, Cossey, Henry (Small), Campbell (Moore).