Bury St Edmunds II 0 Ipswich Cranes 1
NE14hockey East Men’s League
IPSWICH Cranes got back to winning ways to maintain their challenge at the top of Division 3NE.
A 14-man squad travelled to Bury St Edmunds to secure a deserved victory right at the death of a match in which they had dominated possession throughout but struggled to find that finishing touch up front.
The match began at a brisk pace with early possession being dominated by Ipswich Cranes as Bury struggled to break up the play in midfield.
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The away side made a number of surging breaks but failed to capitalise on the resulting short corners with the Bury keeper making a number of smart stops to deny them.
The forward line of Johnson, Burden, Bristow and Muchal had a frustrating afternoon in which umpiring decisions did not go their way and shots flew narrowly over or wide rather than hitting the target, only hitting the back of net it seemed after the whistle was already blown - Cranes had 3 goals disallowed in this fashion.
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The second half began in a similar vein to the first as some good distribution from the back four of man-of-the-match McManus, Larbey, Jones and Macintosh fed the hard working midfield, led by Tiley-Nunn and Bull down the left.
As the game progressed, Bury began to eye a 0-0 draw and what would have been a decent point for them in a largely one-sided game.
Their hopes were dashed however with just 42 seconds remaining – up stepped big-hitting Phil Larbey from the back to dispatch a short corner past the unfortunate keeper, earning Cranes the victory they certainly deserved.
Ipswich Cranes will look to regain their killer instinct up front in future weeks as this narrow victory was just a little too close for comfort, making the after-match teas that little bit harder to swallow.
Man of the match: Andrew McManus