Cambridge City 1 Ipswich 2
English Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
SUNDAY saw Ipswich travel to Cambridge not only keen for three points to keep in touch with the league leaders but also to avenge two dropped points at home back in September.
The Suffolk side started like a steam train and caught Cambridge completely cold. Faye Curran and Hannah Martin in particular causing mayhem in the home teams defence.
It was the start Ipswich desired and after sustained pressure it was 16-year-old Hannah Martin that opened the scoring with an amazing solo goal. The youngster picked the ball up on the 25 yard area, beat what felt like every Cambridge player on the pitch and the calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.
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Disappointingly three minutes later though Cambridge were level. Converting off a short corner.
The game became rather frenetic for a while and both teams had chances, with Ipswich keeper Jade Daley pulling off a good save to keep City out. Ipswich though finally re-grouped and some great work by Ness Roberts in midfield and Curran up front saw Ipswich gain a run of corners. Finally the ball looked to be heading in but hit a Cambridge foot on the line, resulting in a penalty stroke to the visitors. England U21 trialist Annabel Driver stepped up but her stroke was well saved and City breathed a sigh of relief.
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Half time saw Ipswich switch formation and the change of shape seemed to catch City by surprise. Now it was all Ipswich possession and it looked only a matter of time before the Suffolk side scored. On the 47th minute that goal came from the most sublime bit of hockey all game, it even had the city supporters clapping! A flowing move down the right, saw the ball pass from one Ipswich stick to another with a fluidity that left City totally out classed. It was left to Ipswich’s top scorer Anni Broster to flick the ball into the net to claim her seventh goal of the season and give Ipswich a 2-1 lead.
With the home side being reduced to making more and more desperate stick tackles and illegal body checks it was no real surprise when one of their players was finally shown a yellow card.
As time wore on Ipswich searched for the killer goal but it just would not come and the visitors had two last minute short corners to steal a point. Ipswich though held firm and claimed a thoroughly well deserved three points.
With Surbiton suffering a shock loss to Harleston and Chelmsford only managing a draw with Old Loughtonians, Ipswich ended the weekend in the same place as they started it. In third place one point off top spot, the only difference being that it is Sevenoaks not Surbiton they are now chasing.