Ipswich Town Women hit six past Needham Market Women on way to seventh straight Suffolk Women's Cup Final victory
Ipswich Town Women retained the Homestore Self Storage Suffolk Women's Cup with a 6-0 win over Needham Market Women in this year’s final at AFC Sudbury, writes Liam Young.
A hard fought first half yesterday evening saw a young Town side lead 2-0 by half-time thanks to Zoe Barrett and Lucy O’Brien strikes, with Needham goalkeeper Danni Clarke having pulled off for some unbelievable stops.
The full-time Tractor Girls' intense pressing and energy was bound to play a factor in the second half and so it proved as goals flowed in. Barrett was on target again and further goals came from Sarah Brasero, Maddie Biggs and Liv Bilson.
The first half saw both teams compete hard, and Needham did not look overawed by their higher ranked opponents but also had Clarke to thank for some heroic saves to keep the game alive.
Biggs was denied several times in the opening quarter by Clarke with one spectacular stop that she managed to deflect against the crossbar before being cleared.
But it was always looking like Ipswich would take the lead and they did thanks to Barrett, who took a great touch and turn in the box to finally beat Clarke.
Needham looked dangerous on the break but just could not quite find that final ball and found themselves two down when O’Brien doubled the lead before half-time.
Abbie Wilkinson almost halved the deficit at the start of the second period when substitute goalkeeper Leoni Jackson got into some trouble outside her box, but the danger passed.
And from there the young Tractor Girls became ruthless as Barrett added a second after Biggs unselfishly set her up.
Brasero added a fourth when Needham failed to clear before Biggs got her goal - beating her nemesis - with a wonder strike from the edge of the area. And it had to be special to beat Clarke who continued to be inspired throughout.
Ipswich rounded it off late on through Bilson before celebrating a seventh successive women’s county cup title.
For Needham it was another defeat in the final – following their 8-0 loss to Ipswich at Portman Road in their first campaign since forming in 2018/19. But it is one that gives great hope for the future progression of the club with the final word having to go to the stunning performance of Clarke.
Needham Market: Clarke, Rossiter, Sharpe, Bloomfield, Catchpole, Evans, Wilkinson, Henderson, Balfour, Etheridge, Sparkes. Rolling subs: Rainbird, Diston, Foster, Scott
Ipswich Town: Meollo, Wallis, Hughes, Bilson, Jackson, Sutherland, O’Brien, Barrett, Biggs, Abrehart, Roberson. Rolling subs: Jackson, Brasero.