Ipswich 1 Maidstone 0
Investec English Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
IPSWICH got back to winning ways in the EHL Investec East Conference with a convincing 1-0 win over Maidstone.
Despite only a one-goal cushion this result did not reflect the almost total dominance Ipswich had over their opponents and on another day the hosts would have scored at least five goals.
Ipswich started well, moving the ball around but despite several forays into the oppositions circle the outcomes were not the positive ones Ipswich desired.
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Two quick green cards in succession to Hannah Martin and then Anni Broster saw Ipswich momentarily down to nine but the home side held firm to ride out the storm.
With the game settling down it became apparent that this was Ipswich’s game for the taking. Hannah Martin and Fran Tew dominating the midfield area with great support from teammates.
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However despite all the possession Ipswich could not break down the resolute Maidstone defence and the home team were guilty of selecting the wrong final ball in the circle.
Reduced again to 10 when Alice Poole was shown a yellow card Ipswich were making it tough for themselves and at this point it looked like that only a magical bit of skill would break the deadlock.
On the 34th minute that magic arrived via the stick of Hannah Martin. Weaving her way along the baseline the teenager looked to have narrowed the angle too much for a shot. But the talented Martin clearly knew better and unleashed a shot into the bottom right corner from an impossible angle. It was Martin’s 5th EHL goal and her second this season.
Coach Sandie Lister pointed out a few home truths and Ipswich started the second half with a determined look.
The next 20 minutes was wave after wave of Ipswich attack, first Charlie Anderson firing just wide after a great run, then Faye Curran had a good shot saved. Next up was Fran Tew narrowly missing, followed by Anni Broster seeing her shot saved.
Whilst it was pleasing to see so many efforts Ipswich also knew that a 1-0 scoreline left them open to a quick counter. Luckily for the team the defence were in great form, Hannah Tallent and Kat Wrinch working superbly with Anderson, Poole and Annie Nunn to snuff out any threats. Maidstone did have one very good chance two on one with Mariette Rix in the Ipswich goal but the in form South African keeper made a smart save down to her right.
A satisfactory win that should have been more but it keeps Ipswich in fourth place as they go into the final game before the two-month break for Indoor.