Ipswich 1 Surbiton 2

English Hockey League

Women’s Conference East

IPSWICH first team will wake up today and still be wondering how they managed to lose a game they dominated for 60 minutes. Such was the Suffolk’s sides total control of this EHL East Conference game, even the Surbiton coach admitted in his half time team talk that his side should have been 4-0 down and out of the game.

As it was Ipswich only entered the half time stage 1-0 up and the squandering of three clear chances would come back to haunt the home side.

Both teams started this game fully aware that only a win would see them stay in the hunt for the league title. Defending champions Ipswich were not about to let go of their crown without a fight and the way the home side started was breathtaking.

They totally dominated every area of the pitch and Surbiton were left flat footed and shell shocked.

Wave after wave of Ipswich attacks rained down on the visitors defence and it was no surprise when Ipswich took the lead in the 20 inute. Chloe Hunnable scoring, after some lovely build up play. It was Hunnable’s eighth goal of the season and puts her total level with fellow striker Anni Broster.

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Ipswich continued to dominate, Issy Sheldrake, Ness Roberts and Annie Nunn in particular bossing the midfield line. But the home side knew that a one goal cushion was not likely to be enough and they worked hard to create a second goal. Two great crosses were not put in, after beating the keeper and then Jess Bloom looked to have scored another wonder goal but her final shot again crept past the far post.

Half time saw Ipswich reminded that they needed to take their opportunities and when they won a penalty stroke, after captain Emma Millar was deliberately fouled in the circle it seemed the perfect opportunity to extend their lead. Unfortunately Hunnable could not add to her goal tally and sent the stroke wide of the post.

Surbiton sensed that maybe this was the let off they needed and with time ticking away the visitors started to look more dangerous. Their ex-GB international, Helen Grant, looking far more influential in their attack.

Sure enough with nine minutes left on the clock Grant weaved her way into the circle, and whilst Caroline Stuart in the Ipswich goal made a great initial save her rebound fell kindly to a Surbiton forward who forced it over the line.

Ipswich were shocked to have been pegged back, after dominating the game for so long but they also knew a draw was not enough for them, so the home side looked again to attack.

The game opened up for both teams but it was Grant again that made the most of an opportunity. Squeezing the ball under Stuart in the last minute to steal the three points.

Mathematically Ipswich are still in with a chance of defending their title but this loss sees them slip to fourth place, with current leaders Sevenoaks only needing one win out of their two last games to take the title.

Ipswich can be very proud of such a good performance for 60 minutes but will reflect on the fact that at this level you must take the chances you create.

This Sunday the team travel to Horsham aiming to put those lessons into practice.

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