Ipswich Cranes 6 Ipswich & ES II 0
NE14hockey East Men's League
Ipswich Cranes 6 Ipswich & East Suffolk II 0
CRANES kept their first clean sheet of the season and kept up their run of good form with an emphatic victory against local rivals IES. This was by far the best Cranes' performance of the season with every member of the team contributing to the win. However, despite the margin of victory the first half was a close fought affair during which only one goal was scored.
Cranes' poor pass selection in the final third of the pitch hampered their efforts to score and it was only some solid goalkeeping by Chris McManus that prevented IES going in front from a penalty corner. It was a penalty corner that brought the breakthrough for Cranes, the defensive runner charged down Nick Tiley-Nunn's attempted pass but the ball broke kindly to David Bolton at right slip. Bolton drilled the cross in from an angle to the penalty spot, which gave Andy Bristow the chance to improvise by diverting the ball between his own legs and catching the keeper off guard to open the scoring.
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Cranes knew that with only a single goal margin their lead was fragile and they were anxious to address this in the second half. When the goal came it was a real treat, the ball working around the back and across the centre of the pitch before Robin Johnson and Bristow overlapped and Bristow applied the finishing touch to Johnsons cross shot.
With clear daylight between the teams Cranes stepped up a gear, the next goal came after a bit of quick interplay between Bristow and Bolton down the left allowed Bristow to cross for Johnson who despatched a tricky reverse stick finish for a well-deserved goal. And the goals kept coming, Johnson again turned provider when he cut back to Tim Macintosh to sweep home his first goal for the club and Bristow did the same for Johnson to score his second after some neat build up play with Ed Williamson on the right. Cranes were now entirely dominant and Johnson wrapped up his hat trick with a neatly taken finish from Macintosh's pass.
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Man of the match: Robin Johnson