Ipswich 3 Chelmsford 2

Slazenger EHL Premier Division Ipswich 3 Chelmsford 2 For the second year running Ipswich go into the Slazenger EHL Premier Division Christmas break celebrating a win against local rivals Chelmsford.

Slazenger EHL Premier Division

Ipswich 3 Chelmsford 2

For the second year running Ipswich go into the Slazenger EHL Premier Division Christmas break celebrating a win against local rivals Chelmsford.

Despite the satisfaction at claiming derby bragging rights the three points were the most important thing for Ipswich in this game. The Suffolk team move up into fifth place, while Chelmsford drop to seventh.


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The game started with Ipswich dominating possession and showing a passion that their visitors could not seem to match. Ipswich defender Lucy Unwin in particular enjoyed a great game against her former club.

Despite the early pressure it took the home side 16 minutes to finally break through the Essex teams defence. England U18 star Jenny Hall deflected the ball high into the net from a brilliant cross from Vic Sandall to score her seventh goal of the season.

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Ipswich continued to pile on the pressure and nine minutes later extended their lead, South African International Kate Hector showing her class with a superb short corner strike that left Chelmsford keeper Katy Roberts no chance and gave Hector her fourth goal of the season.

Despite dominating long periods Ipswich were still aware of the Chelmsford threat from short corners. Sure enough in the 30th minute the visitors struck back as their first strike was well saved by Charlotte Lee-Smith in the Ipswich goal but the rebound was picked up by Ciara O'Brien and she flicked the ball into the open net.

Despite the setback Ipswich continued to play to their patterns and gained several short corners. With half time approaching the home side knew this would be the ideal time to strike back and it was captain Becky Baker that extended the home sides lead back to two clear goals. Her deceptive slap hit wrong footed Roberts in the Chelmsford goal and the ball bobbled over the line to see Baker score her second goal of the season.

The second half started with Ipswich once again playing some pleasing hockey but Chelmsford had finally managed to find the passion they seemed to lack in the first half and were intent on bringing the game to the Suffolk side. As the game became more and more scrappy the umpires decided on a tighter control and Ipswich midfielder Evie Van- Poortvliet was unlucky to be shown a yellow card when she could not avoid a Chelmsford player who ran into her.

With the home side now one player missing the game turned the visitors way and only some good goal keeping by Lee-Smith and some excellent goal line clearances from Baker kept Chelmsford from exploiting their numerical advantage. To make matters worse for the home team, they then suffered a second yellow card as Emma Lee-Smith was sent off for a stick tackle.

Down to nine players Ipswich were working flat out to keep their two goal advantage but a good short corner strike by Lisa Wooding with seven minutes to go gave Chelmsford renewed hope of a point.

Back up to eleven players Ipswich began to regain possession of the ball and Emma Millar had a great chance to make the game safe, after a superb through ball by van-Poortvliet, but she was denied by the outstretched leg of Roberts in the Chelmsford goal. With time ticking away the game turned into a frantic affair but Ipswich held firm and claimed the vital three points.

Attention now turns to the indoor season for the next month and Ipswich will resume their outdoor campaign on 27 January with a home game against Doncaster.

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