Ipswich 1 City of Peterborough 2
Slazenger EHL MenPremier LeagueIpswich 1 City of Peterborough 2IN arguably their most important match of the season, Ipswich men fell to a 2-1 home defeat against fellow relegation candidates City of Peterborough, a result which leaves the Suffolk side in dire straits.
Slazenger EHL Men
Ipswich 1 City of Peterborough 2
IN arguably their most important match of the season, Ipswich men fell to a 2-1 home defeat against fellow relegation candidates City of Peterborough, a result which leaves the Suffolk side in dire straits. City of Peterborough took a first-half lead through Joe Finding, but Ipswich grabbed a second-half equalizer through Keir Dixon before Pete Ellis settled to contest 14 minutes from time. Peterborough's victory saw them climb off the bottom place in the league, only to be replaced by Ipswich whose players now have their work cut out if they are to retain their place in the Slazenger England Hockey National League for another season.
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“We gave it absolutely everything, had nearly all of the possession and hit the post three times, but luck was just not with us”, said Ipswich captain Ivan Smith.
“We are still only one point behind both Peterborough and Chelmsford and have to play Chelmsford on the final day of the season, so it could still go right down to the wire.”
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Ipswich dominated the majority of the first half, with Mark Wheelhouse controlling the defence and 17-year-old Mickey Franklin looking magnificent in midfield alongside Ed Driver.
The home side created a number of excellent scoring opportunities, but a well-organised Peterborough defence kept the Ipswich forwards at bay. Then, entirely against the run of play, Peterborough took the lead when Joe Finding picked up a long pass in the circle, beat his man and fired a well-placed shot into the corner of Tony Burch's goal.
Ipswich did not let the goal affect their play, and continued to press forward, but a controversial yellow card awarded to Geoff Reed saw the blues temporarily reduced to 10 men. Despite being a man down, Ipswich continued to press forward and almost opened the scoring thanks to a dazzling run from 17-year-old Josh Godfrey, who beat three players before seeing his shot cleared off the line via a post by a Peterborough defender.
Strong words from coach Iain Gall inspired Ipswich to an excellent start to the second half, putting their opponents under intense pressure. However, Peterborough's defence was proving to be a tough nut to crack, and efforts from Rich Stainthorpe, Ivan Smith and Tom Dunnett were all well saved by the Peterborough goalkeeper.
Eventually though, Ipswich finally got the breakthrough that they deserved, when Keir Dixon flicked home a brilliant penalty corner in the 53rd minute. Moments later, Ivan Smith went on a mazy run that saw him beat three players before slipping the ball past the keeper's left foot, but luck was not with Ipswich as the ball hit the post and was cleared away to safety.
With 14 minutes left to play, Peterborough struck what proved to be the killer blow. Pete Ellis received the ball on the left of the circle and drove a powerful shot past the right foot of goalkeeper Burch to give his side a 2-1 lead. Ipswich kept on fighting for an equalizer, but Peterborough's solid defensive unit secured them a victory that has dramatically boosted their survival hopes and put a huge dent in Ipswich's bid to avoid the drop.