THREE goals in a four-minute spell either side of the interval saw Ipswich Town ease to victory in the HomeStore Self Storage Suffolk Women’s Cup Final.
Ipswich won the cup for the fifth year in a row, and seventh time in eight years, thanks to an 8-0 win against Needham Market at Portman Road on Tuesday night.
Captain Amanda Crump and Natasha Thomas each scored twice and there was a goal apiece for Charlotte Kellett, Amy Nash, Toni-Anne Wayne and Sophie Welton against gallant opponents who play three leagues below them.
A bumper crowd of 769, mainly made up of Needham Market supporters who kept cheering their side right to the end, made for a fantastic atmosphere.
After an even opening 15 minutes in which Needham held their own, Ipswich started to exert their authority on the game and Crump twice went close.
It took until the 27th minute for them to breakthrough, Needham keeper Amber Leeks missing a right-wing cross from Thomas and Kellett stabbed home into an unguarded net.
Needham continued to hold Ipswich at bay until in first-half injury time when Crump freed Thomas, who had struck the base of a post in the 42nd minute, to race clear and finish well.
The second-half was only two minutes old when Thomas shot home from the edge of the penalty area and a minute later Zoe Cossey set up Crump to poke home the fourth through the keeper’s legs.
Sophie Welton (No.17) fires home Ipswich Town's seventh goal in the final versus Needham Market. Photographs: Paul Voller
Amy Nash made it five in the 58th minute with a well-struck cross-shot into the far corner, and nine minutes later Wayne was allowed to run through unchallenged and slot home.
Kellett set up Welton to fire home the seventh with 20 minutes remaining, and two minutes later Wayne crossed for Crump to volley home from close range.
At that stage it looked as though there would be a new record for a Suffolk Women’s Cup Final, beating the two previous 8-0 scorelines – Stowmarket Ladies v Haverhill Rovers in 2001 and Ipswich Town v Kirkley & Pakefield in 2016.
However, Needham rallied and even had the ball in the net, but Francesca Rainbird’s effort was disallowed for offside, just after Wayne had struck the underside of the crossbar in the 89th minute at the other end.
The cup and medals were presented by John Taylor, manager of the Ipswich branch of competition sponsors HomeStore Self Storage, and Suffolk FA Director Geraldine Day.
Ipswich Town: Sian Fagg, Nicole Pannifer, Aimee Harrison, Natasha Thomas, Amanda Crump, Zoe Cossey, Lindsey Cooper, Paige Wakefield, Charlotte Kellett, Eva Hubbard, Amy Nash. Used subs: Danni Clarke, Jac Ball, Toni-Anne Wayne, Sophie Welton, Flo Cage.
Needham Market: Amber Leeks, Niamh Thomas, Megan Stock, Elysia Young, Maria Smith, Nicola Henderson, Boni Shepherd, Amber Sparkes, Laura Tuley, Lois Balfour, Francesca Rainbird. Used subs: Amy Dunn, Isabel Chaplin, Ashleigh Goddard, Abbie Wilkinson, Milly Carter.
Referee: Lorraine Catchpole.