Ipswich 1 – 2 Dereham Ladies 1st

Dereham ladies 1st team traveled to top of the table Ipswich on Saturday and returned back to Norfolk with a well deserved, hard working 3 points!

Dereham started the game brightly and good work down the right from Helen Malcolmson and Ali Waters found Pip Howes who drew the foul and Dereham had their first short corner of the game. The injection with good pace was slightly off target but Pip Howes adjusted well and stopped herself and got a quick strike off towards the back post where Lucy Soame deflected it but the Ipswich keeper made a fine save.

Moments later Dereham were on the front foot again and making good inroads down the right, a ball from the centre from Nat Grapes found Ali Waters in space which she needed no invitation to drive into and she got to the edge of the D and pulled the ball back nicely for Fran Grapes who, off balance, missed her first time shot and the ball rolled away to safety.

Dereham continued to press forward and in doing so were hit on the counter by Ipswich who attacked quickly at the Dereham back line and entered the D where the ball hit a Dereham foot and the hosts won a short corner. The short corner was nervously defended by Dereham and Ipswich were awarded another short corner! This time Dereham defend the short well and the danger passed.

That was as close as it got for Ipswich in the first half and Dereham dominated the rest of the half. The next opportunity fell to Ali Waters, when determined work from Sarah Dove, her pass found Charlotte Taylor who drove at Ipswich and she found Ali Waters unmarked in in the D who saw her first shot saved only for the rebound to come straight back to her but on this occasion she couldn’t find the target.

Minutes later Dereham got their reward for their first half dominance. Good work from Helen Malcomson found Pip Howes who in turn found Erren Ampleford. Erren cut into the D from the right to find her shot smothered by the keeper but as the ball fell kindly for her again she made no mistake this time and finished nicely on the reverse into the bottom corner!

The next opportunity came from Nat Grapes when Edie topping held the ball up well and won a short corner. From the short corner Sarah Dove stopped and Nat Grapes dragged the ball to the keepers left narrowly missing Lucy Soame on the deflection and forcing the Ipswich keeper into a fine save.

The last chance of the half came when Erren Ampleford and Fran Grapes linked up well down the right, Fran Grapes then drove strongly round the back and along the baseline but unfortunately for Dereham her cut back evaded all the Dereham players and went to safety.

That was the last of the action in the first half and Dereham went into half time with a deserved 1-0 lead but could have been more. This was an impressive first half performance but Dereham knew this was half a job done and knew Ipswich would come out firing in the second half.

Second half

And that’s exactly how Ipswich reacted. The first ten minutes of the second half saw Ipswich dominate possession in the Dereham half. But for all there dominance Jess in the Dereham goal and the back line of Eve Coulet-settle, Grace Cresswell and Helen Malcomson held firm and limited Ipswich to half chances.

As Dereham began to grow into the half they went close again from Ali Waters when Lucy Soame picked her out and she burst into the D and unleashed a thunderous strike which narrowly missed the target! From the restart Ipswich worked the ball right and drove into the D, and when the ball popped up and became loose the Ipswich forward stepped in and finished ruthlessly.

As Ipswich pushed forward this left them exposed on the break and this is exactly what happened, Grace Cresswell took a quick hit and found Charlotte Taylor at the half way line, she drove at the heart of the Ipswich defence but her pass was off target and went straight to the keeper but a mix up between the keeper and the defender found them falling over each other and the ball fell kindly for Ali Waters to roll into the empty net!

There were 10 minutes left and Ipswich were now in full flow but Dereham still stood up to everything they had to offer and continued to look dangerous on the break. Edie topping broke away from the defender and as she tried to shoot which was knocked off balance, and her shot was fired well wide.

Dereham then had a moment of panic when after a goal mouth melee led to Jess Nightingale Webb making a sharp save to her left and the rebound was hit agonisingly wide for the home side. Ipswich were then caught in possession by Fran Grapes who charged the defender down and charged away from her and when bearing down on goal she was fouled from behind only for the officials to not award a foul as she lost control of the ball.

The final 2 minutes was played around the Dereham D but solid defence from the midfield and defence ensured Dereham got exactly what they deserved which was a fantastic away win and 3 points off top of the table.

Erren Ampleford pipped Ali Waters to a well deserved player of the match but this was a day where once again every single player played a huge part by sticking together and working hard for each other! Dereham don’t have a game next weekend but they do entertain Watton midweek for their re-arranged game which was cancelled before Christmas.