WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Argyle’s winning run is ended, while Liskeard edge out Saltash in thriller

PLYMOUTH Argyle suffered their first defeat since mid-February as they went down 2-0 to leaders Ipswich Town in the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division.

The Pilgrims had won their last four league games to move clear of the relegation zone.

Sunday’s defeat did see them drop down a place to 10th in the table, just one point and one place ahead of the drop zone, but they do have three games in hand on Milton Keynes Dons who sit in the final relegation spot.

Ipswich went into the game with just one league defeat to their name all season and with an unbeaten home record, so Argyle always knew it would be a tough ask in Suffolk.

The visitors handed a first start to 18-year-old goalkeeper Jasmine Read and she had to be on her toes in the opening 20 minutes as Ipswich started strongly.

But the Pilgrims weathered the early storm and gradually started to get into the game.

However, five minutes before half-time, Ipswich took the lead when a Eva Hubbard shot deflected in off an Argyle player.

And two minutes into the second period, the hosts doubled their lead with a goal by Eloise King.

Argyle really pressed after that but could not get a goal to get back into the game.

The Greens will be looking to get back to winning ways this coming weekend when they host Crawley Wasps at Manadon.

Meanwhile in the South West Women’s Western Division, Liskeard Athletic narrowly edged out neighbours Saltash United 3-2 in an entertaining clash at Kimberley Stadium on Sunday.

The match could easily have gone either way and Saltash will be frustrated they did not get anything out of the contest.

The win though was crucial for Liskeard to keep alive their hopes of chasing down league leaders Plymouth Argyle U23s.

On a hot day, Saltash started the better but could not turn their pressure into goals and on 15 minutes Liskeard came agonisingly close when they hit the bar with an overhead kick and then blasted the rebounded over the bar.

But two minutes later they did take the lead when Grace O’Leary fired in.

Saltash immediately forced a good save from the Liskeard keeper, who then made another couple of saves before the break.

The Ashes attacked after the interval and they got a free-kick on the edge of the box, but could not take advantage of it and Liskeard went straight up the other end and scored a second goal through Gemma Farley. That to signal the start of a mad couple of minutes in a great contest.

Straight from the restart, Saltash attacked and Beth Mitchell scored a fine goal.

But no sooner had the hosts finished celebrating their goal that Liskeard added a third with Farley bagging her second.

Saltash started to throw everything they could at Liskeard and they pulled a goal back on 71 minutes when Nicola Champion scored a brilliant goal from the edge of the box.

Both teams were giving everything to try and get the win. Liskeard hit the woodwork again before Rachel Finch tested the visiting goalkeeper with a volley.

In injury-time, Saltash came close but Liskeard eventually got the ball away from their penalty area to hang on for a crucial three points.

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