Old Loughtonians 6 Ipswich 0
Slazenger East Men'sConference LeagueOld Loughtonians 0 Ipswich 6TITLE-chasing Old Loughtonians of Essex proved to be too strong for Ipswich, as the visitors from Suffolk fell to a heavy 6-0 defeat.
Slazenger East Men's
Old Loughtonians 6 Ipswich 0
TITLE-chasing Old Loughtonians of Essex proved to be too strong for Ipswich, as the visitors from Suffolk fell to a heavy 6-0 defeat. The first half of the match was played in freezing rain, but this did not stop “Loughts” from scoring four times to effectively win the game before half time. The home side added another two goals in the second half to seal a deserved victory in front of a big crowd, who had turned up to support their team on the club's President's Day.
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Ipswich travelled to Loughton without England Under 18 duo Mickey Franklin and Josh Godfrey, who were both away on international duty. The side were also missing England Under 16 star Johnny Gall, a player who despite his youth has become a pivotal player in midfield for Ipswich.
To add to Ipswich's injury woes, goalkeeper Tony Burch was struggling with a virus and mild double vision, ensuring that Ipswich would have their work cut out to compete with a team featuring two seasoned international players in the shape of attackers Darren Cheeseman and James Stedman.
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Old Loughtonians took just six minutes to establish a lead when Alex Jennings coolly slapped the ball into the corner following a dazzling run from Stedman, only for 2007 Hockey Writers' Club Young Player of the Year Liam Diodge to make the score 2-0 from a penalty corner just two minutes later. Ipswich began to create some chances of their own, with Keir Dixon and Ivan Smith looking threatening up front, but none of these players could force former Ipswich keeper Stuart Hendy into a save.
Another former Ipswich player showed no remorse in front of goal as Oliver Didham gave his side a 3-0 lead in the 26th minute. Then, on the stroke of half time, defender Stuart Robson started a move in his own half before surging forward to slap a powerful shot into the roof of the net following another excellent pass from Stedman.
More Old Loughtonians dominance followed in the second half, with Liam Doidge scoring a brace of penalty corners in the 42nd and 60th minutes to complete his hat-trick. Ipswich had a chance to score a consolation goal when Keir Dixon aimed a penalty corner flick towards Rich Stainthorpe, but the forward saw his deflection cleared off the line by impressive Old Loughtonians defender Robson.
In the dying minutes, Chris Seward had a chance to make the score 7-0 from the penalty spot, but sent his effort wide of the mark. Shortly before the end of the match, both teams were reduced to 10 men for seemingly innocuous challenges, with Ipswich's Ed Driver and Alex Jennings of Old Loughtonians being sent to the sin bin for separate offences.
With three games left to go, Ipswich remain at the bottom of the league, but with relegation rivals Peterborough and Chelmsford both losing at the weekend and only one point ahead, the team still very much have their destiny in their own hands. “It just seems inevitable that the end of season match against Chelmsford is going to decide our National League future”, said Ipswich coach Iain Gall.