Ipswich 5 Norwich City 0

Men’s East Hockey League

Premier A

IPSWICH hosted local East Anglian Rivals Norwich on Saturday following a poor result the week before away to Havering.

Ipswich welcomed back Tom Watson, James Kingstone, Charlie Young who were all missing the week before with the England Futures Cup. Ipswich also welcomed back Tom Parry who was suspended and Jason Black who was in Ireland. With the full squad now to choose from, a luxury that was a first in nearly two years, Ipswich were confident going into the game whilst being mindful that a poor performance could end in a home defeat. Ipswich’s warm up was intense and it was clear the team was going to be on the ball from the word go.

The game began and Ipswich flew out of the blocks and stunned the visitors by taking a 4-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. The first of which came from a Dixon short corner on 3 minutes, the accuracy of the flick was’nt great but the power left the keeper with little time to react.

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The second goal came from another short corner, this one a well worked routine ending with player coach James Kingstone converting (in his words) a diving deflection, however on review it was announced that his dive might have been premature as Kingstone was lay on the ground prostrate for some time before the ball eventually found its way to deflecting off his stick.

Some excellent stick skills from Tom Watson created the next two open play goals, the first Watson worked his way through the Norwich defence to find Will Chrystal to tap in back post. The fourth goal Watson again snaked his way through to pass to Johnson, who squared to Black to tap in back post to make it 4-0 at 20 minutes.

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With Norwich totally deflated Ipswich were guilty of taking their foot of the gas and allowing the game to take place around them, doing enough to keep any Norwich threat at bay whilst not really pushing themselves to press on for more goals. This continued long into the second half, Ipswich did have chances to extend their lead, Dixon flicking from a corner over the crossbar and Parry had a solid strike stopped on the line form another short corner.

Ipswich finally got their fifth goal of the game following some good pressing from the forwards. Tom Parry stole the ball from the centre back and offloaded high to Will Chrystal, Chrystal drew out the keeper and unselfishly squared to Parry for a reverse stick tap in to the empty goal.

Norwich did have a goal allowed then cancelled out when the goal scoring forward announced it had hit his leg on its way into the goal, a great example of sportsmanship even during a local derby game. The game ended shortly afterwards with the score 5-0 to the home side.

Ipswich were pleased with the first half performance but ultimately knew they should have kept the tempo up to further their lead in the game. However three home points and a clean sheet at home are never to be grumbled at especially against their Norfolk rivals.

Man of the Match was awarded to Ed Driver who’s tight stick skills and constant change of pace and direction thanks to his low centre of gravity caused the Norwich midfield issues all game. Ipswich entertain Chelmsford next Saturday in a second local derby in as many weeks, 3pm at Tuddenham Road, spectators as always are more than welcome.

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