Northampton Town Women lost at home to Ipswich Town in the Women’s FA Cup first round proper on Sunday afternoon.
The Cobblers exit the competition following the defeat to their FA Women’s National League Southern Premier Division opponents.
Joint-managers Josh Oldfield and Liam Williams made three changes to the side that won at home to Leek Town in the FAWNL Division One Midlands last week, as Katie McLean, Paige Ridley and Jess Evans replaced Holly Mayfield, Annie Villamartin and Alex Dicks in the starting line up.
Midfielder Evans was making her Cobblers debut having recently signed from Peterborough United. Forward Paris Mallon, who joined the club from Nottingham Forest in the week, was named on the bench.
The Cobblers defended well but were put under lots of pressure by their higher level opponents in the first half.
Katie McLean made a low save at her near post and Vicky Barrett blocked the rebound as Ipswich threatened on the quarter-of-an-hour mark.
The hosts responded a few minutes later when they counter-attacked and Kim Farrow found Jade Bell, who fired over from a tight angle.
They managed to keep the scoreline goalless until midway through the opening period, when Lucy O’Brien controlled a long ball in the box and placed home to open the scoring.
Natasha Thomas applied a low finish from close range to double the visitors’ lead on the half-hour.
The Cobblers created another half-chance five minutes before the break as Farrow’s hook towards goal landed on the roof of the net with ‘keeper Laura Hartley back-pedalling.
McLean tipped Thomas’ close-range header onto the crossbar as she looked to double her tally late in the half, something O’Brien was able to do on the stroke of half-time when she cut inside and finished from inside the six-yard box.
The Cobblers remained strong in defence early in the second half and came close to pulling a goal back on the hour when Farrow pressed Hartley into a loose clearance and Laila Channell’s first-time effort from long range bounced narrowly wide of the empty net.
Ipswich seized control of the contest and added a fourth soon after as Sophie Peskett fired across goal and into the bottom corner.
They secured their place in the next round with two more late strikes, captain Bonnie Horwood making it five from the penalty spot and Thomas half-volleying in her second and her side’s sixth.
The Cobblers host Northamptonshire Women's & Girls Football League Premier Division outfit AFC Rushden and Diamonds in the Northamptonshire FA Women’s Cup second round next week.
Cobblers: Katie McLean, Paige Ridley, Vicky Barrett, TJ Warren, Zoe Boote, Laila Channell, Jess Evans, Fay Noble, Mia Richards, Jade Bell, Kim Farrow
Substitutes: Holly Mayfield, Bianca Luttman, Annie Villamartin, Paris Mallon, Alex Dicks