Ipswich 1 Sevenoaks 2
Investec English Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
LAST season’s Investec East League Champions Sevenoaks ended Ipswich’s unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 victory over their hosts.
Ipswich started well and birthday girl Faye Curran, who turned 18 the following day scored a cracking reverse stick deflection on the sixth minute to give the home side the prefect start.
Despite the good start Ipswich were under pressure from the visitors and it needed some good saves from Mariette Rix to keep the ball out.
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Ipswich showed glimpses of good play, Lowri Davies and Hannah Martin in particular proving a handful for the Sevenoaks defence but despite winning several short corners Ipswich could not get the routine right. Sevenoaks were definitely the team in ascendance winning their own run of corners but like Ipswich they could not get the routine right.
However the away team finally broke through on the 28th minute. A loose pass from the Ipswich defence was picked up by a Sevenoaks forward who finished well past Rix.
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Determined to get their structure right for the second half Ipswich made some changes and player of the match Annie Nunn was immediately involved. It was now all Ipswich pressure and Davies and Martin along with pacy forward Kitty McWhirter had several chances to get the home side back in front but the shot flew just wide or at the goal keeper.
With time ticking on Ipswich continued to dominate possession but a misplaced pass at the top of the attacking circle was swiftly seized upon by Sevenoaks and turned into a good break away move. Outnumbered Ipswich worked hard to force the ball wide but the shot hit an Ipswich foot on the way to goal and a penalty stroke was awarded.
Rix made a great effort to keep the stroke out but had to suffer the agony of seeing it fly in off the bottom of her glove.
With 18 minutes left Ipswich poured forward determined to get at least a point and on a different day maybe the ball would have gone in, but despite some great pressure and a wonderful attempt by McWhirter Ipswich could not find that goal. It was the first defeat for this young Ipswich side and whilst they were very disappointed not to have got more from a game they felt they dominated in the second half, it is a great learning curve and the team will definitely have learnt some valuable lessons to carry into another tough game next week.