Ipswich 6 West Herts 2

NE14hockey East Men’s League

Premier A

IPSWICH’s sharp warm up dictated the pace they began the game, dominating the possession and chances for the opening parts of the game. It didn’t take long before Ipswich were awarded a penalty corner, dispatched at pace into the roof above the keepers head by Keir Dixon. The game was then stopped and delayed for 10 minutes due to a flood light failing to turn on. Ipswich were quick to restart and again were awarded another penalty corner shortly after the restart, this time dispatched low by Dixon, 2-0 Ipswich. The remainder of the first half passed without any real incidence, with the exception of two West Herts Yellow card for failing to retreat five yards form a free hit and a stick challenge.

The half time team talk asked for much of the same but improved outcomes in the opposition D. Unfortunately this was not the case and Ipswich started very slowly and found themselves on the back foot for the first twenty minutes of the half, this was not helped by three consecutive yellow cards for Ipswich for two stick tackles and again failing to retreat five yards form a free hit, decisions that might have been viewed as harsh, but very consistent with that shown to West Herts in the first half, so were met with little complaint.

West Herts pulled a goal back and a second shortly afterwards. With the score at 3-2 the home side were rocking with only nine players on the pitch. West Herts were then awarded a penalty flick for a 50/50 challenge in the D. Thankfully Ben Glading in goal displayed cat like reflexes to produce a great save with his glove low to his left.

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This save was the inspiration Ipswich needed and then began to turn up the pace and intensity of the game, this resulted in a third penalty corner for Ipswich, again dispatched by Dixon. Some excellent skills Godfrey and Underwood up front coupled with some great counter attacking distributing by Ed Driver, Mark Wrinch and man of the match Shyam Patel meant Ipswich were flying for the final 10 minutes of the game. Ben Underwood’s tight skills in the D gained another penalty corner for Ipswich which was deflected high into the goal by Josh Godfrey to make it 5-2.

With confidence high, Ipswich produced the best attacking sequence of the game, some excellent one touch passing between Wrinch, Underwood and Dixon left Jason Brocklehurst unmarked on the top of the D with an empty goal to push the ball into, sadly it was not to be and Brocklehurst deflected wide with the goal gaping. Brocklehurst was not to be disappointed for too long as the fitness levels and pace of Ipswich would be the undoing of the opposition for one final time with Josh Godfrey showing great pace and composure to burn his opposite number down the right then square to an unmarked Brocklehurst to tap in back post.

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With the exception of the poor discipline in getting three players sent off at the beginning of the second half Ipswich were thrilled with their performance, finally starting to show the standard of play that coach James Kingstone knows they are capable of. Ipswich travel to Bluehearts next week, again totally focused on nothing other than returning with three points.

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