Ipswich 2 Firebrands 2

EHL Men's National SouthIpswich 2 Firebrands 2Ipswich yet again had to settle for a point, this time against closely placed Firbrands. The hosts were without three key players, top scorer Keir Dixon, Phil Messant and veteran Simon Miller.

EHL Men's National South

Ipswich 2 Firebrands 2

Ipswich yet again had to settle for a point, this time against closely placed Firbrands.

The hosts were without three key players, top scorer Keir Dixon, Phil Messant and veteran Simon Miller. After the consistent showers overnight Tuddenham Road was saturated on Sunday morning but, as the morning progressed, the pitch dried up and the game got underway on schedule.


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Ipswich's game plan was to attack the Firebrands defence in search of the first goal. For the first 20 minutes it was a very scrappy affair, with both teams making errors all over the pitch.

Towards the end of the first half Firebrands started to make the more positive attacks. Speedy left winger Ben Trembath started to make an impact on the game, forcing some top class saves from Scottish international Andrew Middleton.

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After this flurry of attacks Ipswich managed to sustain pressure and pried at the Firebrands defence looking for an opener. After 33 minutes they got it when Ian Swallow converted a drag flick after a string of short corners.

Ipswich intended to play out the half but Firebrands gained a short corner which James Hudson converted from a sweet routine.

After some strong words from coach Nick Fry Ipswich controlled the start of the second half, gaining a string of short corners. From one of these Swallow converted past some weak goalkeeping.

For much of the rest of the half the home team controlled the game but had an inability to find the vital last pass in order to extend their lead. Firebrands seemed as though they had nothing left in their tank as Ipswich tried to play the game out, keeping hold of the ball to great affect.

Then came several contentious umpiring decisions as two penalty corners were awarded to Firebrands in the last ten minutes, both of which Middleton expertly saved.

In the last minute Chris Rich slipped in the Ipswich circle after pushing the ball off the pitch and a penalty corner was given for obstruction. Sam Bury duly converted.

The final whistle was met with jeers from the Ipswich fans after they felt the team had been robbed of a victory.

Despite a poor quality game, the point gained by the Suffolk side sees them stretch their lead to five points from the dreaded relegation play-off spot. Next week Ipswich visit bottom side Oxford.

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