Ipswich 1 Leicester 4
Slazenger England Hockey League Premier Division Ipswich 1 Leicester 4 For the second time in two weeks Ipswich played well but lost the game and conceded four goals.
Slazenger England Hockey League Premier Division
Ipswich 1 Leicester 4
For the second time in two weeks Ipswich played well but lost the game and conceded four goals. The Suffolk team started the weekend ravaged by injuries to their back line. Missing three players is hard enough, but when all three are defenders life becomes very tough indeed. Kirsten Spencer will be out for another three weeks with a broken thumb, while Millie Sharp and Lucy Gallagher are struggling to shake off viral illnesses.
Forced to make changes to his line-up, Nick Thompson dropped right midfielder Emma Lee-Smith back into a defensive role and asked the speedy Evie Van Poortvliet to step into the midfield role. However, the game all most did not go ahead as torrential rain had flooded the bottom corner of the Tuddenham Road ground. Only some sterling work from the management team of Donna Mills, Sandie Lister, Karla Waddleton and the ball patrol girls, who swept away and collected the huge amount of water, saw the game go ahead one hour behind schedule.
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As has been the pattern in recent weeks Ipswich started slowly and Leicester took an early lead through Becky Herbert. Eleven minutes later Kerry Williams opened up a two goal cushion for the visitors and Ipswich knew they had to step up their game. Some good play by Emma Millar and Jenny Hall saw Ipswich gain a penalty stroke when Hall's shot was stopped illegally on its way to goal. Unfortunately the stroke was put wide by Emma Lee-Smith and Ipswich missed the chance to get back in the game.
The second half again saw the home team slip further behind when only two minutes in a neat deflection by Hannah Macleod saw Leicester move to a 3-1 lead. Ipswich kept battling away and earned a series of short corners, but the home team could just not find the killer touch. Finally in the 60th minute Kate Hector struck from a short corner and Ipswich went looking for the second goal. Despite some continued pressure and good play from Ipswich, the visitors held firm and sealed the win with their fourth goal with only three minutes left to make the final score 4-1.
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Despite playing well Ipswich once again had to deal with another defeat that leaves them six points off the top spot. Chances must be taken next week as they make the tricky journey north to face third placed Bowdon Hightown.