Canterbury II 1 Ipswich II 0
PremierCanterbury II 1 Ipswich II 0 Ipswich narrowly lost out to Canterbury in this well matched affair.Canterbury undoubtedly started the stronger in attack, piling on relentless pressure for the first 15 minutes and really making the Ipswich midfield and defence work extremely hard to prevent an early goal.
Canterbury II 1 Ipswich II 0
Ipswich narrowly lost out to Canterbury in this well matched affair.
Canterbury undoubtedly started the stronger in attack, piling on relentless pressure for the first 15 minutes and really making the Ipswich midfield and defence work extremely hard to prevent an early goal.
Canterbury's strength was in their discipline and organization. They worked brilliantly as a unit, directed from the back by experienced defenders to the extent that it felt almost impossible for Ipswich to move far past the half way line.
But for all their strength in possession, Canterbury met equal brilliance in defensive savvy from Ipswich.
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Hannah Godfrey at left defence had an outstanding game from the very first whistle and was ably assisted by Kat Wrinch, Beth Scott and Sam Bennett who collectively ensured that the home team failed to gain any advantage from their efforts.
All four defenders released the ball well to midfield whenever an opportunity could be found but from there Ipswich found it harder to penetrate the Canterbury midfield, with the successful balls through invariably being intercepted by well drilled defenders who refused to be moved or flustered by the Ipswich front runners Fiona Lane and Anni Broster doing their best to create some space.
There were some skilful moves involving Sophie Kesterton, Anni Broster and Annie Nunn. Hannah Godfrey also worked well with Connie Bedingfield and Jenny Ellis on the left but Ipswich failed to make the final pass that would create goal scoring chances.
Keeper and captain Claire Gould, never scared to come to meet the ball, made several outstanding saves and commanded her troops in the D soundly.
It was to Ipswich's great credit that they conceded only one penalty corner in the entire match and maintained the score at 0-0 going into the break.
Half time came as welcome relief to Ipswich and a chance to adjust the game plan for the second half.
Subtle changes were implemented that made a huge difference; moving closer in on the press, more decisive organization in marking, better communication, denying Canterbury the option of attacking down their right.
All came together to make the second half a very different proposition and it became Canterbury's turn to feel the heat.
The home team was forced by Ipswich to work the ball slowly down the left where it was frequently picked up by Phoebe Walker, Annie Nunn or Sophie Kesterton who counter attacked with conviction.
Walker made a couple of strong drives into the D along the baseline from which Ipswich were unlucky not to gain penalty corners.
Ipswich did pick up several free hits on the edge of the D though, and again it was probably the experience of the Canterbury defenders that protected their goal.
Ipswich eventually gained something for their determination when Annie Nunn secured a penalty corner but the scoring touch remained elusive.
With Canterbury still dangerous on the attack, Ipswich came desperately close to holding out for a 0-0 draw which would have been the deserved result.
However, with about seven minutes to go, the inevitable happened and a Canterbury forward got momentarily loose on the P spot to collect a square ball from her left midfield and score in off the right post.
Ipswich hit straight back with more pushes up the right and it looked quite likely that, given another five minutes, Ipswich would pull one back to get the deserved point, but the final whistle was blown and it wasn't to be.