NE14hockey Men’s East League
IES II 0 Ipswich Cranes 6
ANOTHER hat trick for Robin Johnson and another comprehensive victory for Cranes as they offered their league rivals little encouragement with this derby win.
IES started the brighter of the two teams as a couple of enforced changes and a few new players in the Cranes line up led to a short bedding in period for the visitors, but once five minutes had passed Cranes were able to dominate the match from beginning to end to the extent that the home team were unable to muster a shot on target for the full 70 minutes.
Yet again the match was won in midfield through the constant hustle of David Bolton and Nick Tiley-Nunn who snuffed out the IES build up before it could start and with Craig Bloomfield and Kieran Bromley excelling in their distribution from the back the platform was set again for Johnson, Andy Bristow and Paul Muchal to wreak havoc up front.
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And so it was; three goals before half time and the game was won. The first was a classic link up between the front pair as Bristow helped Tiley-Nunns pass into the run of Johnson who drifted into the circle unmarked for a clinical finish. Johnson struck again shortly after, this time Muchal providing a well timed slipped pass.
Cranes debutant Alex Bull added the third from close range and Cranes could have been further ahead with a bit more sharpness. Being a local derby, there was a touch of niggle and both teams were a man down at the start of the second half after some ‘handbags’ in the IES circle.
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The second half started with Cranes continuing to make inroads and once the teams were back up to full strength it was only moments before a clear scoring opportunity presented itself to Cranes, some brave defending stopping the shot but at the cost of a damaged hand for the defender who left the pitch. Cranes wish him well and a speedy recovery.
Cranes were under no impetus to drive forward and were vigilant in their defending, Tim Mcintosh and Leon Jones keeping the left side of the pitch closed down and Andy McManus blocking the routes forward with some vigilant marking and IES were running out of ideas – ex Cranes player Lee Hadley receiving a green card for a hair violation indicative of their frustration. As IES pushed on the game opened up further, playing to Cranes strengths: Johnson won a flick which Bloomfield converted for 4-0 and Johnson wrapped up his hat trick shortly afterwards for 5-0. Tiredness was creeping in and when Muchal intercepted a clearance and squared to Bristow for an easy finish it wrapped up another good win for Cranes.