Ipswich 2 Cambridge City 2
English Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
HAVING dominated the game and created endless scoring chances Ipswich will look back on their missed opportunities and a last minute moment of ill discipline, that cost them the win in their first home EHL East Conference game of the season.
A last minute equaliser by Cambridge City saw Ipswich drop two points and the Suffolk side will need to step things up as they face fellow title chasers Sevenoaks on Sunday.
Starting the brighter Ipswich dominated possession of the ball and were soon carving open the City defence to create the first of what turned out to be endless chances in front of the visitors goal.
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Despite a run of short corners and a shot cleared off the line the home side could not find a way to breach the city goal. As the first half wore on Ipswich were left frustrated time and time again as they could not find that crucial touch to open the scoring.
Domination of the game and possession counts for nothing unless you score and Ipswich knew that they needed to up their game if they wanted to take all three points. As the teams went into the break it was the visitors that were the happier side.
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Ipswich were determined to find that elusive goal in the second half but the game took an unexpected turn when City, one minute in from the restart, turned the game on its head. A lofted shot by Kellie James found Ipswich keeper Fi Stacey out of position and the home side could only look on in disbelief as it soared into an empty net.
Spurred into action Ipswich responded well and some amazing skill by 15-year-old Hannah Martin opened up the City defence time and time again and their last ditch tackles resulted in a series of short corners. This time Ipswich made no mistake. Anni Broster taking her chance well to equalise on the 45th minute.
The game was now all about city defending and Ipswich attacking and with Chloe Hunnable and Broster working well up front it only looked a matter of time before the home side took the lead. On the 58th minute that hard work was rewarded. Broster again converting a short corner to make it 2-1 to Ipswich.
With time running down City threw caution to the wind but some good marshalling by Charlie Anderson and Annabel Driver dealt with any danger. Then with only seconds left Ipswich gave the visitors a life line. Not retreating far enough from a free hit saw Ipswich penalised and as time ran out the visitors were awarded a penalty corner.
City buoyed by the chance out of nothing, took full advantage of the opportunity and would have been as amazed as Ipswich to see a poorly hit shot creep through Stacey’s legs.
A delirious City rightly celebrated their draw as if it was a win, whilst Ipswich were left to reflect on a poor display in front of goal that saw them drop 2 points.
Despite the feeling of frustration felt by the home team there were many positives from this game. Ipswich created endless chances and the work rate was outstanding.
Having not played anywhere near their best in the last two games, Ipswich still have the same amount of points at this stage of the season, as they did last year and coach James Kingstone will be pleased with the chances that are being created up front.
The next step though is to take those chances and with a tough game against last season’s runners up Sevenoaks, away on Sunday, Ipswich know that the time for that improvement is now.