Dereham 1 Ipswich 5

English Hockey League

Women’s Conference East

WITH only five games remaining in the EHL East Conference Ipswich went top of the table for the first time this season. As the defending champions demolished bottom side Dereham 5-1, fellow title challengers Sevenoaks and Surbiton were being held to 1-1 and 0-0 draws respectively.

Ipswich started the game at a great pace and despite missing top goal scorer Anni Broster, who was struck down with a chest infection on the morning of the match, the away team took an early lead. The seventh minute saw a penalty stroke converted by 18-year-old striker Chloe Hunnable.

After winning the home fixture 10-1 another high scoring win looked on the cards for Ipswich but a lack of clinical finishing and narrow misses meant it took another 20 minutes before they extended their lead. Hunnable again, this time with an unstoppable reverse stick shot.

Three minutes later and Ipswich were cruising. Jess Bloom scoring the best goal of the game, an amazing solo run that saw her drift pass several defenders and casually pop the ball past the stunned keeper.

Despite the healthy lead Ipswich were rather inconsistent and at half time coach James Kingstone reminded them of the need to play to their strengths.

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four minutes after the restart Ipswich got a wake up call as Dereham benefited from a defensive error and broke away to score to make it 3-1.

Showing their composure, it only took three minutes for Ipswich to regain control when Charlie Anderson converted a short corner.

With the score at 4-1 it was all about damage control for Dereham and they battled hard to break down Ipswich play. A constant run of short corners should have seen Ipswich further ahead but they had to wait for the 67th minute to make it 5. Anderson again scoring to take her goal tally for the season to three.

The game ended as it started with Ipswich pressuring Dereham and only a goal line clearance from another shot corner saw the final score stay at 5-1.

Ipswich now focus on next weekend’s local derby against Harleston. This should be a cracking game as the Norfolk side have yet to lose a game this side of Christmas after being relegation candidates at the start of the season.

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