Bedford 3 Ipswich 4
East Hockey League
IPSWICH travelled to Bedford on Saturday on another warm autumn day. All those concerned knew they would not be at the races when the warm up was deathly silent and getting the team focused and motivated was near impossible. The match began and neither side really showed any dominance, Ipswich were half hearted in their leads and tackling and Bedford began to grow in confidence. Despite Bedford taking the better spells of play it was Ipswich who scored the first goal, this came from several long corners and side line hits high on the right hand side being awarded thanks to a Bedford defence who were more content with knocking the ball off the side of the pitch than actually tackling and taking the ball off Dixon on the right.
Ipswich were presented with a number of chances from these long corners, with the fifth or sixth actually leading to a goal tucked in by Jason Black for his second of the season. From that point on for the remainder of the half it was all Bedford and the hosts took a commanding 3-1 lead into half time, thanks to some classic ball watching an own goal by Ben Dykes.
A pretty frank half time team talk from coaches Kingstone and Morleand woke Ipswich up for the second half and they started brightly scoring almost straight form the half time whistle, again an Ipswich Long corner found Dixon at the top of the D, who struck the ball far post with Jason Black on site again to deflect home for his and Ipswich’s second goal of the game. Bedford came out fighting and again had the lions share of the play again aided by Ipswich going back to sleep, Ipswich were left to breakaway chances and scraps up front but Glading, Kingstone, Davey, Wrinch and Dykes fought resolutely at the back to keep any Bedford attack at bay.
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However, this sustained pressure did result in some poor tackling, and it wasn’t long before Bedford were awarded a penalty flick, Bedford’s player coach stood up, flicked top left, Glading tracked it all the way and saved superbly. Having not learnt from their lesson within five minutes Ipswich gave away another penalty flick this time a mistimed tackle from Ben Dykes.
Again the Bedford Player coach stepped up flicked low right, again Glading tracked it all the way and pulled off another superb save. Ben Gladings reputation as a Penalty flick specialist is now becoming well known, having saved seven from the last 10 he has faced!
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With this second chance, knowing there would not be a third, Ipswich mustered up some drive and began to test the Bedford back line for the last ten minutes of the game, some great leading and posting from Jason Black & Tom Watson along with some great link up play from Ed Driver, saw Tom Parry strike from a tight angle on the base line past the Bedford keeper and into the goal, 3-3. Unsatisfied with leaving with a point Ipswich get the tempo up for the final few minutes hoping a Bedford error would lead to a short corner or an open play chance to steal all three points. Fortunately this was exactly what happened, in the last minute of the game a Bedford defender took his tackle whilst lying on the ground and a short corner was awarded. Sagrott dragged out, Dykes trapped and Dixon roofed it, 4-3 with seconds to go.
Ipswich then comfortably held out for the final seconds of the game and took all three points home with them.
After what was essentially a poor performance from the away side they were obviously thrilled to take all three points. Positives taken form the game was the standard of finishing fro the forwards that has been missing over the last few weeks and of course an excellent game from Ipswich’s keeper Ben Glading kept them in the fight for longer than they deserved.
Ipswich will face newly promoted Dereham on Saturday and having faced three of the top four teams will now be looking to really get on a roll up to the Christmas break.