Bowdon 2 Ipswich 2

Slazenger EHL Premier Division Bowdon Hightown 2 Ipswich 2 Ipswich returned from Manchester and their game against third placed Bowdon Hightown with a well deserved 2-2 draw.

Slazenger EHL Premier Division

Bowdon Hightown 2 Ipswich 2

Ipswich returned from Manchester and their game against third placed Bowdon Hightown with a well deserved 2-2 draw.

Despite being happy at claiming their first point in three games in the Slazenger EHL Premier League, Ipswich know that they could and should have returned home to Suffolk with all three points.

With a squad hit by injuries and unavailability due to work commitments, Ipswich travelled north with only 12 players, but despite such a small team, you could not fault the work rate and commitment shown by all the players.

Ipswich started the game in their usual slow style but unlike past weeks they managed to keep their hosts from scoring, Charlotte Lee-Smith in the Ipswich goal in particular turning in a great performance.

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With Ipswich now keeping better possession of the ball they started to create chances and seemed to penetrate the Bowdon circle at will. Despite the amount of times Ipswich threatened, some poor decision making in the circle saw the hosts let of the hook and, as in previous weeks, Ipswich were soon punished, Ashleigh Ball scoring for Bowdon from a short corner in the 13th minute.

Ipswich looked to get back into the game but time and time again were frustrated by Bowdon's stick tackling that was breaking down play. Finally Ipswich got the breakthrough they wanted when in the 33rd minute a great through ball from Kate Hector found Evie Van-Poortvliet unmarked in the circle. Van-Poortvliet calmly deflected the ball past the Bowdon keeper to score her third of the season.

The second half saw Ipswich turn up the pressure and Vic Sandall went closest to giving the Suffolk team the lead, but her first time shot sailed over the bar. As Bowdon continued to stick tackle it was inevitable that a yellow card would be the outcome and sure enough in the 56th minute a Bowdon player was sent off and Ipswich had a player advantage. Ironically this seemed to inspire Bowdon and in the 59th minute they again took the lead, Lindsay French scoring after a breakaway.

Despite the setback Ipswich continued to work hard and were rewarded instantly with a short corner. A slick routine saw Jo Ellis score her second goal of the season and Ipswich were now looking for the winner. Despite some good attacking play and another Bowdon player getting sent off, Ipswich could not find the killer goal and had to settle for the point.

The Suffolk side remain in sixth place and face local rivals Chelmsford at home on Saturday in their final game before the Christmas and indoor break. With both teams level on 11 points this, as usual, will be a passionate and hard fought game that neither side can really afford to lose if they want to keep within in sight of the leaders.

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