Downey and Thomas reach milestones as Tractor Girls end away campaign on a high

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 May 2018

Ipswich Town forward Natasha Thomas scored her 30th goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Luton. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Ipswich Town forward Natasha Thomas scored her 30th goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Luton. Picture: ROSS HALLS

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FA Premier League South East Div One

Luton Town 1 Ipswich Town 2

Ipswich Town defender Nicole Pannifer battles for the ball with two Luton Town players. Picture: ROSS HALLS Ipswich Town defender Nicole Pannifer battles for the ball with two Luton Town players. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Forwards Miagh Downey and Natasha Thomas both hit their goal-scoring targets by reaching 10 and 30 goals respectively as Ipswich Town Ladies capped off their final away trip of the season with a 2-1 victory over Luton Town at Stockwood Park Athletics Centre on Sunday, writes Kieren Standley.

Ipswich Town Ladies winger Roxy Small. Picture: ROSS HALLS Ipswich Town Ladies winger Roxy Small. Picture: ROSS HALLS

The first-half started at an extremely slow pace but Thomas came close to opening the scoring for Town on two occasions, before captain Amanda Crump’s effort was ruled out for offside. The game livened up a few minutes later as the Blues were denied what looked to be a clear penalty when Thomas was shoved inside the area, however, the Town forward didn’t go down and the referee waved away the appeals - to the absolute dismay of Blues boss Ralph Pruden. Zoe Cossey would then hit the crossbar for a second time in a week but that was the final attempt for Town as the first-half simply petered out.

Miagh Downey celebrates her goal with Cassie Craddock. Picture: ROSS HALLS Miagh Downey celebrates her goal with Cassie Craddock. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Pruden made a tactical switch at half-time - reverting back to his preferred 4-4-2, and it wasn’t long before the Blues began to get a foothold in the game. Seven minutes after the restart, Thomas looked almost certain to give Town the lead after a goalmouth scramble but was denied by a trailing leg on the line. However, the Tractor Girls’ top scorer did net her 30th goal of the season moments later - heading in from Crump’s corner.

Substitute Downey doubled Town’s advantage and netted her 10th goal of the season thirteen minutes from time as Thomas turned provider. The mercurial forward whipped the ball in for the Town number nine - who touched the ball past the defender and smashed past Hatters keeper’ Grace Brookes on the volley. Just like the reverse fixture in April, Luton snatched a mere consolation goal with the last kick of the game as McKay fired home from the edge of the area - denying the Blues a deserved clean sheet.

The Tractor Girls have already confirmed a third-place finish and head into their season finale against AFC Wimbledon at Playford Road next Sunday having fallen just short of the top-two.

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