Lowestoft Ladies 2 Ipswich Wanderers 1
Lowestoft Ladies put in a performance best forgotten, struggling to a 2-1 victory against a nine lady Ipswich Wanderers side
Lowestoft Ladies put in a performance best forgotten, struggling to a 2-1 victory against a nine lady Ipswich Wanderers side, to progress into the next round of the League Cup.
It's been a frustrating time lately for the Ladies team with plenty of postponements, with their last game a couple of weeks ago against Ipswich Wanderers in the league and today the opposition were the same but this time it was the League Cup.
The match got underway in bitterly cold conditions with Ipswich Wanderers starting the game with just nine players fielded.
As to be expected, the large majority of the opening play was in the Ipswich half, with Lowestoft penning them in but not fully settling or threatening the goal.
Lowestoft nudged into the lead in the 13th minute though, with a lovely threaded ball putting Charlotte Eastwood in on goal and her great stretched finish sending the ball into the far corner to put Lowestoft 1-0 up.
Lowestoft were starting to pick out the chances and shots but appeared quiet and laboured in their play with the usual slick football and urgency missing.
Ipswich had a brief sighting of the Lowestoft goal with the number 14 getting forward and into the area but Ellie Froud forced her off the ball before she could shoot.
Charlotte Eastwood was the only player for Lowestoft who was showing any signs of the usual standard of football, with the team not finding their usual rhythm and making hard work of it.
The Ladies team have always been noted for their great movement, work rate and slick passing but were looking very off colour and lacklustre, with no urgency in their play at all.
Even the Lowestoft defence appeared to not be fully focused on the game, with the lone Ipswich striker finding it all too easy up against the four defenders.
Therefore it was no surprise when Lowestoft were punished after 40 minutes, with the number 10 picking the ball up and with a sight of goal she sent an early shot in from outside the area, which sailed over Lowestoft keeper Nikki Wigg and into the net for 1-1.
Lowestoft had gone to sleep and half time was a welcome sight, in the hope that a team talk and words from the manager would fire them into life.
The second half unfortunately started and continued in the same vein, even though Lowestoft did get a chance early on with Flo Cage getting herself in on goal but seeing the defender steal the ball of her toe and nearly score with an own goal.
It really was turning into a strange and unseen performance from Lowestoft though, with the team and team captain Sue-Lyn vocally very quiet and even though the weather was bitterly cold and not pleasurable to play in, there was almost an impression of a lack of interest and focus in their play.
When balls were going into the Ipswich box nobody was attacking them but Lowestoft did put a little spell of better football together on the edge of the Ipswich box, ending with a Laura Dyson shot being charged down.
Sue-Lyn was pushing forward a bit more this half and trying to play a higher line from defence, in order to try and push things on and get the team ticking but it was having little effect.
Lowestoft should have taken the lead when a great shot from Natasha Thomas was saved by the keeper and ended up at the feet of Chloe Hoffman but she sent the rebound over the bar.
It was looking like Lowestoft were going to be taken to extra team by the nine ladies of Ipswich but their blushes were saved in the 78th minute by a ball into the area being controlled really well by Natasha Thomas and finished well to send Lowestoft 2-1 up.
The goal did perk Lowestoft up for a bit but after a few minutes they slipped back into their shells, as the game ran its course and the final whistle went, to see Lowestoft progress to the next round of the cup.
A wins a win and that's the main thing to come out of the game. It was bitterly cold and that surely played a part, along with the lack of football in recent weeks but the team will know themselves that they were far from their best today.
All teams have off days though and this team is full of high class footballers and a great team ethic and without doubt will bounce back to their best next time. The main thing is that they progressed to the next round and should look forward and focus on the next game now and not mull this game over too much.
The Lady of the Match for Lowestoft today was Charlotte Eastwood who scored a good goal and made some good passes in midfield.