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Amber Cantwell return to boost Cambridge United Women

Cambridge United marked their return to action following a six-week break with defeat after FA Women’s National League, Division One South East leaders Ipswich Town delivered a five-star performance last Sunday.

The U’s last competitive match was on October 27 and facing an Ipswich side who had yet to taste defeat all season, they allowed their opponents to dominate possession.

Fifteen minutes in and the pressure was too much. Sophie Peskett’s pinpoint cross from the right was emphatically headed home by Natasha Thomas to give Ipswich the lead.

Thomas turned provider five minutes before half time as she set up Anna Grey whose shot trickled past U’s keeper Liz Pamplin to double the Blues’ lead.

United were handed a lifeline just before the break as Vicky Lines was tripped in the box following a free-kick.

U’s top goalscorer Kelley Blanchflower stepped up to take the spot-kick but her effort was saved by debutant Ipswich keeper Lucy Williamson.

The game was over within six second-half minutes. Wingers Grey and Peskett were influential again, with the latter involved in the third goal – her cross was turned in at the near post by skipper Amanda Crump on 53 minutes.

Thomas prodded home her second of the game two minutes later before Peskett made it 5-0 just before the hour mark.

U’s head coach Ben Yeomans had no complaints, and paid credit to the opposition, saying: “This team (Ipswich) and these players will move on to good things in football and for the young players in our team who are still looking to progress it’s a good indication to them to see the standard they’ve got to be at if they want to go any further.”

U’s midfielder Amber Cantwell made a long-awaited return as a second-half substitute after recovering from an injury suffered against Cambridge City in September and Yeomans added: “I’m looking forward to having everyone back and fighting and pushing in the same direction.

“There’s no denying Amber is a fantastic player and she’s someone we’ve missed in recent months, so to have her back is a positive boost not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.”

Cambridge City Ladies were also beaten, suffering a 2-0 defeat away at Actonians.

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