Ipswich 5 Clifton 4
Slazenger EHLPremier DivisionIpswich 5 Clifton 4Ipswich awoke from their goal scoring slumber on Saturday, rattling in five goals past Clifton. It was the first time since December 2005 that the Suffolk side has managed to get five on the scoreboard and ironically that 6-0 win was also against the Bristol-based club.
Ipswich 5 Clifton 4
Ipswich awoke from their goal scoring slumber on Saturday, rattling in five goals past Clifton.
It was the first time since December 2005 that the Suffolk side has managed to get five on the scoreboard and ironically that 6-0 win was also against the Bristol-based club.
However, things did not start well for the home team as they saw the visitors open the scoring in the fourth minute.
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A newly invigorated Ipswich front line, spurred on by the returning Jenny Hall, soon had the home side level though, Lizzy Aldous touching in a superb strike by Miriam Fabregas after seven minutes.
Three minutes later Ipswich had the lead, a well-worked short corner deflected in by 18 year-old Jess Bloom for her first ever National Premier League goal.
Ipswich were now playing some good hockey but were still finding themselves caught out at times by Clifton's basic tactics.
These eventually paid off for the visitors as they equalised in the 21st minute to make it 2-2.
With half time approaching Ipswich were creating the majority of chances and only some good saves by Clifton's Welsh keeper kept the score levels.
Then, in the 31st minute, Ipswich were hit by a sucker punch and the visitors went into half time with a 3-2 lead.
Some vital points by coach Royce Waters on the side saw Ipswich start the second half with renewed belief and a new goalkeeper after the injured Charlotte Lee-Smith was replaced by second team captain Claire Gould.
Gould was making her Slazenger National League debut but betrayed no sign of nerves as she was immediately called into action, a superb diving save kept Clifton out at a vital stage of the game and inspired the home team to surge forward for the win.
Sure enough, in this open game, Ipswich found the equaliser, the outstanding Leisa King firing home from a short corner to make it 3-3.
Two minutes later and Ipswich moved into the lead when some great play by Jenny Hall and Fabregas sent Jess Bloom through one on one with the keeper and the striker made no mistake, firing the ball through the keepers legs to claim her brace and send the crowd wild.
Ipswich now looked to close the game out but Clifton went for an all out attack. A great volley save from Lucy Gallagher on the line again drew rapturous applause from the enthralled crowd, but Clifton refused to lie down and their next attack gained a short corner.
The visitors made Ipswich pay with a well-worked move to draw back level at 4-4 with ten minutes to play.
Despite the setback Ipswich showed the spirit that runs through this team and with King creating havoc down the right hand side of the pitch it looked only a matter of time before the Ipswich front line would break though.
Sure enough a good run by Bloom down the right saw the ball crossed to the waiting Fabregas, who fired an immensely powerful shot into the bottom corner to give Ipswich the lead once more.
With five minutes to go Ipswich still had to work hard to ensure the win but a great team effort ensured that it was the home side that claimed the win and saw them move to sixth in the table, four points off third place.
There were so many positives from this game for the Suffolk team, none more so than Gould's amazing debut, but it really was the sprit and great team effort from the entire squad that made the result so pleasing.
Ipswich now travel to ninth placed Old Loughts on Sunday looking to continue their climb up the table .