Ipswich 1 Slough 3
Slazenger EHLPremier DivisionIpswich 1 Slough 3Ipswich finished their pre-Christmas fixtures in the Premier League with a good display but no points against league leaders Slough.
Ipswich 1 Slough 3
Ipswich finished their pre-Christmas fixtures in the Premier League with a good display but no points against league leaders Slough.
Despite missing four regular players, Ipswich started the match brightly, with Lizzy Aldous almost carving out an excellent opportunity in the opening seconds as her final pass just eluded Leisa King excellent run into the circle.
Slough instantly responded and only some excellent defending by Mille Sharp and captain Becky Baker kept them at bay.
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In the 13th minute the visitors made the break through when a Jane Smith strike found the back of the net, despite a good attempt by keeper Claire Gould to keep it out.
Ipswich upped the tempo and gained a run of short corners, but they could not find a way through the Slough defence.
Injuries to Miriam Fabregas and Aldous then saw the Ipswich squad briefly down to eleven players, before the Berkshire side duly extended their lead in the 21st minute when Purdy Miller scored after a quick counter attack.
Despite the setback Ipswich dug in deep and, with Spaniard Fabregas back on the pitch, she created a superb opportunity.
Fabregas' neat stick skills saw her free in the circle and she laid the ball on for Emma Millar, but Millar took the wrong option of passing when she should have shot and the opportunity slipped by.
Half time saw Ipswich regroup and they could sense that a goal early on in the second half would see them right back in the game.
Sure enough, in the 51st minute, Fabregas scored her fifth league goal of the season with a superb strike from a short corner.
The play was all about Ipswich now with Slough looking rattled but, despite another run of corners, Ipswich could not find the vital breakthrough.
With time running out Ipswich changed formation and pushed forward, but were caught out on the break and Smith fired in her second of the game in the 62nd minute to re-establish her team's two goal lead.
Ipswich battled to the end but had to reflect on opportunities that went begging. With Canterbury losing 3-0 to Olton, Ipswich managed to move up into fifth place on goal difference, probably a fair reflection on their inconsistent performances.
The league now takes a break for indoor hockey until February when Ipswich will be looking to maintain their upwards momentum.