The Bees were knocked out of the FA Women’s National League Cup – losing 1-0 to Ipswich Town Women at the Goldstar Ground.
The hosts began the afternoon with a series of quick-fire chances and came very close to taking the lead when Anna Grey was fed the ball on the edge of the box from a short corner. Ipswich’s No.11 opened up and bent her shot just past the top left corner.
Joe Sheehan’s side continued their pressure throughout the opening stages and almost broke the deadlock when Maddie Biggs collected the ball just inside the area before turning and dragging her effort just wide of the left post.
Natasha Thomas was up next to test the resilience of the Bees in the 13th minute when the ball fell to her following a blocked free-kick. Ipswich’s No. 9 found space to get her shot away and fire just over the crossbar.
The Tractor Girls came close again in the 21st minute after some good build up play allowed Maddie Biggs to get a shot away, as she turned away from her defender and struck a powerful effort goalwards to force a strong save from Faye Hazelton in the Bees goal.
The scoring was opened in the 26th minute as Ipswich spread the ball to Zoe Barratt who got the better of Jess Burke down the right side before cutting back inside of the box and shooting across goal to the bottom left corner to give the hosts the lead.
The Ipswich pressure continued at the start of the second half when Eva Hubbard picked up the ball from 20-yards out and looked to find the top corner with a dipping effort, however the Tractor Girls’ defender lifted the ball just over the crossbar.
The Bees came so close to equalising in the 59th minute when Sabiha Jamal managed to win a corner after playing the ball against her defender.
Millie Constantine floated the resulting ball to Flo Gamby in the centre of the box, who rose highest to head towards the top corner. The Ipswich stopper, Leonie Jackson jumped high to tip the header onto the crossbar as her defence rushed to clear the loose ball.
The Tractor Girls responded and Faye Hazelton was forced into another good save in the 69th minute as Maddie Biggs was picked out at the back post before volleying low back across goal to make the Bees’ stopper work.
Eva Hubbard continued to cause the Bees problems and almost put the game beyond doubt after 77 minutes when she let fly from 25-yards. Her shot came straight back off the post to Eloise King who was first to react to the loose ball and blast her shot over the goal bar.
Faye Hazelton carried on her fantastic afternoon with another save as she tipped over Zoe Barratt’s 20-yard shot late on – however her heroics couldn’t prevent the hosts from progressing in the cup.
Ipswich: Leonie Jackson, Eva Hubbard, Lindsey Cooper, Lucy Egan, Natasha Thomas, Maddie Biggs, Eloise King ©, Anna Grey, Zoe Barratt, Kyra Robertson, Summer Hughes. Subs: Sarah Quantrill, Sophie Peskett, Abbie Jackson, Leonie Telford.
Goals: Barratt (26’).
Bees: Faye Hazelton, Jess Burke, Sarah Reid (Parker Dunn 54’), Frankie Webster, Flo Gamby © (Gemma Croucher 75’), Hannah Coote, Lauren Heria, Nikki Jancey, Millie Constantine, Sophie Lee, Sabiha Jamal (Alketa Rragarmi 89’). Subs: Chiara Lape.
Referee: Edward Frazer