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Ipswich Town Women score five against Chatham Town at Portman Road





Ten thousand fans cheered on Ipswich Town Women at Portman Road this afternoon, in what was billed as an historic match for the women’s game in Suffolk.

The Tractor Girls opponents for the FAWNL Southern Premier Division fixture were Chatham Town.

On a weekend where fans across the country were celebrating the women’s game, Joe Sheehan’s team were given a rousing reception as they stepped out in the afternoon sunshine.

Ten thousand fans watched the women's fixture. Picture: Suzanne Day
Ten thousand fans watched the women's fixture. Picture: Suzanne Day

Today was the first time they had played at Portman Road since a cup fixture in 2019.

From kick off Town were on the attack, ready to relish the occasion.

Solid defending and an impressive start from Chatham Town goalkeeper Simone Eligon, stopped the Tractor Girls taking an early lead.

Following a long stoppage due to a nasty clash of heads, Ipswich forward Natasha Thomas broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute.

Sophie Peskett nabbed a cracker for the second goal for the blues in the 32nd minute.

Town were then denied a 3rd goal when set-piece stalwart Bonnie Horwood saw her penalty saved just before half time.

As the Tractor Girls headed into the dressing room there was a sense that there were more goals to come.

Half time at Portman Road. Picture: Suzanne Day
Half time at Portman Road. Picture: Suzanne Day

During the break, the names of first time fans were displayed on the big screen. Something that Ipswich Town also arranges for the men’s matches - a nice touch for the younger fans getting their first taste of football.

The second half could have been a bloodbath in terms of goals, but despite the half time score, Chatham Town didn’t let their heads drop.

However Thomas stopped any chance of a comeback in the 58th minute, town’s super-striker proving she wasn’t daunted by the occasion.

Goals followed from Tottenham loanee Lenna Gunning-Williams in the 61st minute and then defender Summer Hughes grabbed the fifth and final goal at 72 minutes.

Stoppages led to a disjointed end to the second half - however the crowd were delighted to see the return of Eloise King, who has been out with injury for the whole season.

The Tractor Girls played at Portman Road. Picture: Suzanne Day
The Tractor Girls played at Portman Road. Picture: Suzanne Day

After the final whistle the Tractor Girls celebrated on the pitch, signing autographs, and taking photos with fans.

Though promotion is out of the question for Ipswich Town Women this season, they undoubtedly captured the imagination of young fans at Portman Road.

The positivity from the fans and players meant it really was a celebration of the women’s game.

Final attendance: 10,173

Woman of the match: Natasha Thomas