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Ipswich Town 3 Norwich City 2 (aet)
Ipswich Town won the first 'Old Farm Derby' of the season with a 3-2 extra time victory over Norwich City in the FA Women's Premier League Cup Determining Round at Felixstowe and Walton United FC.
As a result, Ipswich will be entered into the draw for the League Cup whilst the Canaries will compete in the Plate competition. A match in the best traditions of local derbies swung first one way then the other over 120 minutes of highly competitive football played in a fair and sporting manner. The only disappointment was that the tie was settled by an unfortunate own goal by the otherwise excellent Ebony Wiseman on 107 minutes.
Ipswich started very positively and had long range efforts from Jazz Cox and Molly Hall held by Canaries keeper Jade Nicholson. Cox and City's Natasha Snelling were both very lively with the latter breaking clear only to be denied by Ipswich keeper Laura Bird. A Paige Shorten corner, headed down by Ellen Swift on 15 minutes gave Kate Parsons an opening but the shot was wide.
Shorten provided the best moment of the half with a turn and 20 yard shot saved by Bird at full stretch by her right post but in general the teams had cancelled each other out in a blank first period.
Ipswich nearly took the lead on 49 minutes when Hall's flicked header found Aimee Harrison clear but her shot was wide. Snelling shot over under pressure from advancing Town keeper Bird when set up by Shorten's chipped pass on 53 minutes but it was Ipswich who took the lead just before the hour. Skipper Amanda Crump's free kick from the right found Harrison who headed the ball home at the far post.
Norwich poured forward in search of the equaliser, moving the ball very fluently but met with resolute defence from Town. Parsons was denied by a good save then by a last ditch tackle from Harrison, but suddenly, with seven minutes left the tide seemed to have turned in the Canaries' favour.
Snelling equalised with a crisp finish after a free kick found her clear on 83 minutes then sub Emma Allsopp netted two minutes later after hesitation in the Ipswich defence.
Ipswich seemed beaten but two minutes into added time another free kick was caused havoc in the visiting defence and Sian Fagg was on hand to blast the ball home after Nicholson had saved well from an initial shot.
Norwich again pressed high up the pitch in extra time but were mainly kept at bay by a strong back four display. Allsopp had a goal ruled out for offside, then Shorten had a great chance when clean through, but scuffed her shot wide.
Ipswich took full advantage on 107 minutes with the fourth goal of the afternoon from a free kick. Crump's fine delivery found defender Wiseman in a difficult position and her header drifted over Nicholson for Town's third.
Only superb work from keeper Bird preserved the advantage, twice denying Parsons before brave blocks kept out two follow up efforts. Ipswich then saw out the final minutes very effectively for a most satisfying victory.
The fact that it was achieved with just one substitute available and several players missing was all the more creditable. Norwich were not at full strength themselves but played with great fluency at times but this was not their day and Ipswich take bragging rights into the league encounters.
Ipswich Town: Laura Bird, Jac Ball, Sophie Welton, Sian Fagg, Aimee Harrison, Cassie Craddock, Molly Hall, Amanda Crump, Jo Foy, Jazz Cox, Hollie Clement. Sub: Grace Knock.
Norwich City: Jade Nicholson, Bryony Radley, Erin Wilson, Ebony Wiseman, Kate Parsons, Ellen Fewkes-Woodrow, Brooke Osborne, Paige Shorten, Natasha Snelling, Ellen Swift, Brooke Cheal-Ferris. Subs: Abigail Gower, Emma Allsopp, Mary Croft.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Brooke Cheal-Ferris shields the ball from Jo Foy
(middle) Abigail Gower is challenged by Sophie Welton
(bottom) Paige Shorten fires a free kick towards goal
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