The Bees fell to defeat at home – losing 3-1 to Ipswich Town Women in the FA Women’s National League.

The Tractor Girls started quickly and took the lead in the 3rd minute when Zoe Barratt picked up the ball and floated it towards the back post.

Faye Hazelton jumped up to claim cross but fumbled it into the net following some pressure from an Ipswich attacker.

Joe Sheehan’s side doubled their lead in the 6th minute when Anna Grey swung her cross in from the left side.

Sarah Brasero-Carreria pounced on the ball inside the area who took a touch and converted into the bottom left corner, beyond the outstretched arms of Hazelton.

Sian Osmond’s side were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position midway through the first-half. Danielle Puddefoot took aim but dragged her shot just wide of the far post.

The visitors continued their pressure and hit the post just before the half-hour mark when Grey burst through into the final third before playing through Barratt down the right flank.

The Ipswich winger dropped a shoulder and brought the ball inside before firing her shot against the far post.

The Bees showed great character through the blustery conditions and almost pulled one back when Megan Wood and Ward-Chambers combined nicely by the corner flag before whipping into the box.

Eloise King was there to defend the cross but sliced her clearance up to force Sarah Quantrill to leap up and catch the loose ball.

The Tractor Girls came close to adding a third at the start of the second half when Abbie Lafayette’s cross found Paige Peake’s head who glanced the ball just wide of the back post.

Joe Sheehan’s side scored a third just after the hour mark when Zoe Barratt brought the ball down the right flank before crossing into Eloise King who got in front of her defender to convert at the near post.

The Bees pulled one back in the 71st minute after Puddefoot played a clever free-kick into Flo Gamby who went down after a challenge from behind. Referee Jawahir Robie pointed to the spot to give the Bees a lifeline going into the closing stages.

Puddefoot stepped up for the spot-kick and lashed the ball into the top left corner past Sarah Quantrill, who dived the right way.

Hazelton was called into action in the 80th minute to prevent the visitors from further extending their advantage.

Maddie Biggs was played through on goal and looked to pick her spot before the Bees’ stopper bravely came out to smother the ball and stop the attack.

The Tractor Girls came very close to wrapping up the points as the game entered stoppage time when Lee’s backpass to Hazelton forced her off her line to clear after she came under some pressure from Biggs.

Natasha Thomas pounced on the loose ball and chipped the Bees’ ‘keeper but saw her effort bounce just past the post.

Bees: Faye Hazelton, Jess Burke (Parker Dunn 84’), Danielle Puddefoot (Stef Paci 84’), Hannah Porter, Frankie Webster (Jo Wilson 55’), Flo Gamby ©, Courtnay Ward-Chambers, Lauren Heria, Nikki Jancey (Millie Constantine 84’), Sophie Lee, Megan Wood (Hannah Coote 72’).

Goals: Puddefoot (71’).

Ipswich: Sarah Quantrill ©, Maria Boswell, Abbie Lafayette, Eloise King, Anna Grey, Zoe Barratt, Kyra Robertson, Sarah Brasero-Carreria, Summer Hughes, Paige Peake, Lucy Egan. Subs: Leonie Jackson, Eva Hubbard, Maddie Biggs, Natasha Thomas, Abbie Jackson.

Goals: Barratt (3’), Brasero-Carreria (6’), King (63’).

Referee: Jawahir Robie.

Attendance: 115.