Ipswich 2 St Albans 1
English Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
FOR the second week running it was Hannah Martin and Anni Broster that were the scorers that secured a 2-1 win for Ipswich in the EHL East Conference.
The victory over struggling St Albans saw Ipswich move into second place as Surbiton lost to new leaders Sevenoaks. With six games to go Ipswich are still one point off top spot, third placed Surbiton are now two points behind and then it is another five points back to fourth placed Chelmsford.
Ipswich have been in this position before and knew that Saturdays game would not be easy. The home side should have wrapped up the three points in a fantastic opening 15 minutes but the final touch in front of goal was missing and it took until the 20th minute for Ipswich to finally break through.
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It was the super skills of Hannah Martin that once again pulled St Albans apart and her mazy run ended with a great strike into the bottom corner. Martin grows with every game and she has quickly become one of the most dangerous forwards in this league and amazing feat for a 16-year-old.
This goal should have opened the floodgates for the Suffolks side but St Albans held firm and the second half started with Ipswich only leading by the single goal.
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The danger with a one goal lead is that the opposition are still in with a chance despite not having much possession of the ball and St Albans made Ipswich pay for some unfocused play in the 58th minute when they equalised against the run of play.
Despite the set back at such a late stage of the game Ipswich kept calm and some great work by Issy Sheldrake in midfield and Chloe Hunnable up front saw the home side step up the pressure.
Hunnable was a constant thorn in the St Albans defence and with Sheldrake pulling the strings in midfield it was a focused Ipswich side that chased that winning goal with only minutes remaining.
On the 67th minute, Captain Emma Millar intercepted a ball in the St Albans defence 25 yard area and fed it to Hunnable in the circle, who laid the ball off wonderfully for Anni Broster to slot home from close range.
It was Brosters eigth goal of the season and her second in two games, a good return for the hard working striker.
Ipswich then professionally saw out the remaining minutes to claim a vital three points.
Next weekend the team travel to bottom side Dereham but with the Norfolk team winning their first game against Cambridge City on Saturday it will be another tough test for Ipswich as the title race hots up.