Ipswich III 3 Dereham 2

NE14HOCKEY East Women's LeagueDivision Two CentralIpswich III 3 Dereham 2HAVING met Dereham in the very first game of the season, Ipswich knew they were in for a tough game against a more than competent opposition.

NE14HOCKEY East Women's League

Division Two Central

Ipswich III 3 Dereham 2

HAVING met Dereham in the very first game of the season, Ipswich knew they were in for a tough game against a more than competent opposition. The re-arranged fixture saw us travelling up the A140 for the second week running, but once again the gorgeous sunshine made it worth the trip.

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An even start to the game confirmed to both sides that there was going to be a real contest for the points. The impressive pace and work rate from both teams set the tone for the match, where hunger for the ball was going to be an all-important factor. Dereham made their mark first with a breakthrough ball slipping neatly past a couple of Ipswich defenders before being very efficiently sent to the back of the goal with a no-nonsense top-D strike. Far from letting heads drop however, Ipswich returned to the centre with the same vigour, which saw play kept in the attacking half for the next period of play.

This led to the inevitable string of short corners, one of which subsequently led to the Ump awarding a flick as a Dereham foot (albeit accidentally) intercepted a goal bound ball. An experienced conversion saw Vickey Dixon level the score, which was reflective of the game so far.

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A re-invigorated Ipswich continued with good attacking play, with storming work from a superb midfield line up (Fran Tew, Beth Scott and Amy Wall) distributing well and providing good opportunities up front.

The strong play from both sides continued and Amanda Ford scored an awesome strike which ricocheted off both posts before settling in the goal, making the halftime score a pleasing 2-1 to the visitors. Discussion during the break was positive, but with an acceptance that the real hard work was still to come in maintaining good ball pace and continuing to mark well for the remaining 35.

Sustained pressure from Ipswich saw them earn several short corners in the second half and eventually Dixon hit a straight strike which was beautifully placed millimetres inside the left post, bringing the score to a confidence-boosting 3-1 for the threes. Dereham made an immediate and marked reply however and once again Ipswich allowed some very well placed passes to sneak through, with excellent individual play from the Dereham forward securing a second home goal before Ipswich had even stopped celebrating. A real team effort towards the end saw Ipswich players marking well, tracking back, and really earning the three away points as the game finished at 3-2 to the visiting side.

All in all, a performance and result to be proud of, as well as good preparation for a tough home game against top of the league Norwich City next week.

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