MANAGER Joe Sheehan said the second goal just before half-time was crucial to Ipswich Town’s comfortable victory over Needham Market in the HomeStore Self Storage Suffolk Women’s Cup Final.
Ipswich won 8-0 in Tuesday night’s final at Portman Road, but only led 1-0 until scoring a second in time added on at the end of the first half.
Two goals followed in two minutes at the start of the second period as Ipswich eased to a fifth successive victory in the competition and seventh in the last eight seasons.
Captain Amanda Crump and Natasha Thomas both scored twice with Charlotte Kellett, Amy Nash, Toni-Anne Wayne and Sophie Welton each scoring once in front of 769 spectators.
Sheehan said: “The second goal we got before half time was quite crucial because it knocked the stuffing out of them a little bit and allowed us to build momentum going into the second half.
“We wanted to start the second-half brighter. Obviously they had a roaring crowd behind them and whether we were a bit nervous at the start I don’t know, but we wanted to be a bit better in the second half and came out all guns blazing and obviously scored fairly quickly and the rest followed.”
Toni-Anne Wayne (blue shirt) slots home Ipswich Town's sixth goal against Needham Market. Main Image: Wayne congratulates captain Amanda Crump after her second goal of the game made it 8-0. Photographs: Paul Voller
Thomas, who played in the Lowestoft Town side that lost 6-1 to Ipswich Town in the 2013 final at Portman Road, also scored twice in last season’s 5-1 success versus AFC Sudbury at Colchester United FC.
The striker said: “It was nice to play for Ipswich at Portman Road and to get two goals, although it would have been great to have scored three!
“Needham are a hard-working team and closed us down quickly, but we found our game and started playing out from the back and did what we do well.
“The girls certainly enjoyed it. We didn’t stop at three or four-nil and kept pushing for more.
“There was a great atmosphere – it was incredible and it shows that women’s football is growing all the time.”
Needham Market Manager Freya Louis said: “Ipswich play three leagues above us and they were clinical in front of goal. I don’t think 8-0 does us justice, but we made mistakes that we get away with in our league and they punished us.
“Their second goal in injury time at the end of the first half was tough on us after the way we had played.
“They are a very good side and their fitness showed as the game went on, but to think that we started as a new team this season to be playing here at the end of it in a cup final is unreal.
“Our supporters were superb and kept going right to the end. You would have thought that we had won!”