Natasha Thomas nets twice as Ipswich Town lift fourth straight Suffolk FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 16:58 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 07 May 2018

Ipswich Town players celebrate one of Natasha Thomas' two goals in their 5-1 win over AFC Sudbury in the Suffolk FA Women's Cup Final. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Ipswich Town players celebrate one of Natasha Thomas' two goals in their 5-1 win over AFC Sudbury in the Suffolk FA Women's Cup Final. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Archant

Suffolk FA Women’s Cup Final

AFC Sudbury 1

Ipswich Town 5

Ipswich Town Ladies responded to an early scare as they came from a goal down to brush aside AFC Sudbury 5-1 and lift the Suffolk FA Women’s Cup in front of a bumper crowd at a hot and sunny Weston Homes Community Stadium, writes Kieren Standley.

Natasha Thomas celebrates her second goal. Picture: ROSS HALLSNatasha Thomas celebrates her second goal. Picture: ROSS HALLS

456 fans turned out at the home of Colchester United as a brace from top-scorer Natasha Thomas and goals from Lindsey Cooper, Amanda Crump and Sophie Welton saw the Blues to their fourth straight county cup title.

Natasha Thomas celebrates her first goal with Sophie Welton and Zoe Cossey. Picture: ROSS HALLSNatasha Thomas celebrates her first goal with Sophie Welton and Zoe Cossey. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Sudbury took a surprise lead inside the first 20 minutes when Sophie Jeffrey’s corner travelled through a host of bodies and found the back of Sian Fagg’s net, stunning the Tractor Girls.

Town winger Zoe Cossey battles for the ball in the 5-1 win over Sudbury. Picture: ROSS HALLSTown winger Zoe Cossey battles for the ball in the 5-1 win over Sudbury. Picture: ROSS HALLS

However, the Blues responded almost instantly when Welton forced Sudbury keeper Penny Everett into a parried save, with Thomas reacting quickest to slam home the rebound and bring Town level.

Natasha Thomas celebrates one of her goals with Zoe Cossey. Picture: ROSS HALLSNatasha Thomas celebrates one of her goals with Zoe Cossey. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Zoe Cossey went close to putting Town in front but would have been cursing her luck as she was unlucky to see her audacious effort cannon off the crossbar.

Town full-back Jac Ball. Picture: ROSS HALLSTown full-back Jac Ball. Picture: ROSS HALLS

To their disbelief, Town hit the crossbar again, with Welton this time hitting the underside of the bar with a driven shot from distance. Ipswich did finally take the lead ten minutes from the break, with skipper Crump timing her run to perfection and sweeping home Thomas’ cut back from the left side of the area.

Sophie Welton makes it 3-1. Picture: ROSS HALLSSophie Welton makes it 3-1. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Town would go on to hit the woodwork for a third time as Cooper soared highest to meet Crump’s corner but found the crossbar denying her a goal.

Town players celebrate one of Natasha Thomas' goals. Picture: ROSS HALLSTown players celebrate one of Natasha Thomas' goals. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Welton extended the Blues’ cushion ten minutes after the restart - following up at the back post after Thomas’ initial effort had been parried into the path of the Town winger.

Cooper got in on the action on the hour-mark as the towering centre-half rose highest to meet Crump’s corner and headed past the stranded Everett.

Four minutes later, the Blues got their fifth and final goal of the game, with Thomas netting her second of the afternoon. Cossey cut in from the left and delivered the ball into the path of Thomas, who burst through uncontested and finished with great composure.

Town XI: Fagg (GK), Ball (Small), Cooper, Arnoup (Petley), Pannifer (Moore), Welton, Crump (c), Craddock, Cossey, Thomas, Downey (Campbell)

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