Old Georgians 7 Ipswich 2
Slazenger English Hockey League South DivisionOld Georgians 7 Ipswich 2On a cold wet morning in the South West London suburb of Addlestone, Ipswich were the visitors to St George's College to take on table toppers Old Georgians.
Slazenger English Hockey League South Division
Old Georgians 7 Ipswich 2
On a cold wet morning in the South West London suburb of Addlestone, Ipswich were the visitors to St George's College to take on table toppers Old Georgians.
A newly laid, pristine sand dressed pitch was awaiting the Suffolk side for Sunday's game and judging by Ipswich's away record they would need a long warm up to get used to the bouncy surface.
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After a high tempo warm up in drizzling rain the game started at a high tempo with Old Georgians pressing the Suffolk side deep in their own half. After the home side squandered an early chance Ipswich bounced back and were arguably the better side for the majority of the opening minutes.
The visitors pressed the lacklustre Old Georgians defence who were misplacing passes and handing the Ipswich attack the ball, unfortunately to coach Fry's despair the Ipswich forwards duly obliged to hand the ball straight back to Georgians.
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In the pre-match team talk Fry's main objective for the Suffolk side was not to give away penalty corners as waiting in the wings to capitalise was South African Ryan Van Der Riet. The Ipswich defence managed to give away only one penalty corner in the first 20 minutes, moments after the Georgians forward line started to gain the upper hand. On 21 minutes the visitors found out why Fry adamantly told them not to give away penalty corners when Ryan Van Der Riet Blazed an unstoppable drag flick into the top left corner of the net, which keeper Middleton would've been lucky to even see let alone save. From the re-start the visitors heads went down and Georgians began to get hold of the game and added three more goals in the first half, with Van Der Riet getting his second of the game.
The last time Ipswich were down by four goals at half time was against league winners Havant last season. The second half saw them launch a heroic comeback but still ran out six four losers. Ipswich knew they had it in them to come back in this fixture.
The visitors expected Old Georgians to sit back and protect their lead, but it wasn't to be when Van Der Riet launched another unstoppable flick past Middleton in the Ipswich goal. Soon after Ipswich Ladies coach and ex GB olympian Nicky Thompson scored his 13th goal of the season to make the score six nil. It seemed as though Ipswich were in free fall, especially as Van Der Riet added his fourth of the game on 49 minutes. Previously in the season Ipswich would've surrendered to an onslaught from the home side to shed more goals in. The new tougher, resilient Ipswich side displayed how far they have come under the tutorship of coach Fry by ending the game on top. On 52 minutes Phil Messant skillfully converted a Keir Dixon pass.
The Suffolk side although being down by six goals continued to exploit a very shaky Georgians back line missing an array of opportunities which at this level need to be converted. After some relentless pressure from the visitors, the game had to wait until the 66th minute for its champagne moment of the match when captain Fulker received a slick pass from Evans skillfully weaved his way past two defenders before cheekily slotting the ball between the goalkeepers legs.
The game finished seven goals to two with the result suggesting a somewhat one sided affair, but it couldn't be further from the truth. The difference between the two sides was the way Old Georgians used the ball in the final third of the pitch and four unstoppable short corner drag flicks from Van Der Riet.