Chelmsford 1 Ipswich 0
EHL Women's Conference East
Chelmsford 1 Ipswich 0
IPSWICH slipped to their first loss of the season on Saturday but with other results going their way the Suffolk side still enter the Christmas Indoor break sitting at the top of the EHL Women's Conference East.
A well-contested derby game against Chelmsford looked to be heading for a draw until the home team sneaked the ball over the line from a short corner on the 63rd minute. Frustratingly for Ipswich the goal didn't come from a perfectly executed short corner. Instead Chelmsford reacted better to an ill-directed push-out, which was stopped and miss hit into the circle for a rather fortuitous deflection.
Despite playing some great hockey this game was all about taking chances and the Suffolk side will rue not turning some great play and possession into goals.
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Starting the brighter Ipswich looked to take the game to their hosts and with some great performances by Annabel Driver, Lizzy Aldous, Vanessa Roberts and Mille Mc Whirter the visitors were very much in the ascendency.
Despite the better play Chelmsford still looked threatening on the counter attack and Ipswich needed to be alert to snuff out the danger.
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Half time saw the teams still level and as the game wore on a draw looked the likely outcome but a moment of ill discipline by co-captain Emma Millar, as she was sent off for a rash sliding tackle, gave Chelmsford an opening. It was during the end of this spell that Chelmsford won their short corner and scored.
The re-start saw Ipswich determined to find an equaliser and it was Chelmsford's turn to be reduced to 10 players. Libby Knifton sent off for breaking down play.
Within seconds of coming back on the pitch Millar had the chance to redeem herself. A great ball by Lizzy Aldous found her unmarked on the edge of the circle but the resulting shot flew agonisingly wide.
Chelmsford were now in disarray as Ipswich poured forward and a second Chelmsford player, Kate Maxey, was sent off for not retreating from a free hit. The game was now being played in the home sides circle but despite the excellent pressure the Suffolk side could just not find the necessary touch.
As the final whistle went it was Chelmsford that celebrated but with the league now taking a break until early February 2010, it is Ipswich who are still in pole position.