Report | Ipswich Town Women 2 Argyle Women 0
Plymouth Argyle Women 0
Ipswich Town Women 2
Argyle Women's four game winning run was ended with a 2-0 defeat away to league leaders Ipswich Town despite a battling performance from The Pilgrims.
Having won their last four games against teams around them, Argyle came into the match full of confidence of gaining a better result than the 5-0 defeat from when the sides last faced each other at Home Park.
Argyle handed a first start to new goalkeeper Jasmine Read who replaced Poppy Soper after her move to Chelsea. The 18-year-old former Bridgwater keeper knew she was in for a potentially busy afternoon, and she showed good awareness after just two minutes to quickly rush off her line to clear an attempted ball in behind from Peake.
Ipswich were doing the early pressing, but Argyle's young back four and goalkeeper were holding firm and keeping Ipswich from carving out clear opportunities despite their fast start to the game. In the 15th minute, Ipswich carved out the best of the early opportunities. Boswell found space out on the right-hand side and crossed into Thomas, but the Ipswich striker couldn't keep her header down, and her effort was comfortably over Jasmine Read's bar.
However, a minute later, Read was forced into action. Ipswich had a free kick on the right-hand side, and Lafayette inventively tried to catch the Argyle keeper out, but Read showed good reactions to rise high and palm her shot over the bar. Then in the 20th minute, Lafayette nearly turned provider when her excellent cross found Flores in the box, but like Thomas earlier, she couldn't keep her effort down, and it went over the bar.
Having come through the first 20 minutes unscathed, Argyle grew into the game. Top goal scorer Tash Knapman was holding the ball up well for Argyle and was linking the play to wide players Ward & Ireland, but Ipswich were stubborn at the back and restricted Argyle from carving out clear cut chances.
It was going to take a bit of invention to break down the Ipswich defence, and Lane nearly provided it in the 36th minute. The ball was played into Lane while under pressure in midfield, but she did superbly to spin and roll beyond two Ipswich players before working the ball to Ireland on the right-hand side. However, before she could find Knapman in the box, Ipswich got players back and snuffed out the danger.
Just four minutes later, Ipswich took the lead. A long ball was played in behind Argyle's right-hand side. The Pilgrims failed to clear their lines, and the ball fell to Hubbard, whose shot took a wicked deflection off Lane, giving Read no chance as the ball squeezed into the bottom corner.
It was enough to give Ipswich the lead at half-time, but just two minutes into the second half, they hit Argyle with a sucker punch to double their lead.
Town worked the ball to King at the edge of the box, who drove at the Argyle defence and rifled her shot into the bottom corner for Ipswich's second goal of the afternoon.
It would have been easy for the Argyle heads to drop, but The Pilgrims reacted well to the setback and drew an excellent save from Quantrill just five minutes later.
Cunningham dropped her shoulder and went on a trademark run towards the Ipswich goal before unleashing her shot from the edge of the box, which forced Quantrill to spring to her right-hand side and palm away the Argyle captain's effort.
It was the catalyst that led to Argyle's best period of the game. The Greens had brought on Pollock and Alphous and were beginning to use their pace well to exploit the space behind Ipswich.
Hack played a superb ball in behind the Town defence, which found Pollock in down the right-hand side, but her cross was, unfortunately, miss-hit and Ipswich cleared the danger.
Straight after, Argyle drew another save from Quantrill. Giota's long free-kick found Ward in space on the left, but the England U16 international's shot was straight at Quantrill, who held her effort well.
The Greens continued to press for a way back into the game, with Cunningham's delivery from corners causing chaos amongst the Ipswich defence. Cunningham then won a free kick on the edge of the Ipswich box, and while her shot was always dipping, it wouldn't come down in time and fell narrowly over the Ipswich bar.
Argyle then brought Ruby Murphy on as a substitute for Tiana Campbell, and the Argyle defender came on for her senior debut, having spent time with the U23s earlier in the season.
The Pilgrims continued to attack the Ipswich backline, but the league leaders saw out the remainder of the game in resilient fashion despite the Argyle pressure as the game finished 2-0 to Ipswich.
It meant that Argyle's four game winning run finally came to an end. While they did not come away with any points against Ipswich, the progress they had made from the last time they faced them was clear to see, and with more performances like Sunday, Argyle should continue to move up the table in their battle against relegation.
Plymouth Argyle Women:
Read, Campbell, Hack, Papaioannou, Train, Cunningham, Crawford, Lane, Ward, Ireland, Knapman
Subs: Murphy, Alphous, Pollock,
Photo Credit: Dan Newton