Plymouth 4 Ipswich 4
Slazenger Men's EHL South DivisionPlymouth Marjon 4 Ipswich 4Ipswich grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the last few seconds against Plymouth.The team travelled down short of key men including manager Richard Beales, coach Nick Fry and Asif Rais all were struck down with both a chest infection and flu.
Slazenger Men's EHL South Division
Plymouth Marjon 4 Ipswich 4
Ipswich grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the last few seconds against Plymouth.
The team travelled down short of key men including manager Richard Beales, coach Nick Fry and Asif Rais all were struck down with both a chest infection and flu. Ian Swallow travelled down on the day and was the only addition to the squad for the weekend.
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A late arrival from clinical striker Evans meant that Ravi Roosblad and Richard Rutterford started for the first time together spearheading the visitors attack.
Due to the absence of coach Fry and manager Beales it was up to the team to prepare themselves for the game both mentally and physically. The game plan put into to place by Ipswich was to soak up the pressure from the visitors and hit them on the counter attack.
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The match started with Plymouth piling the pressure on the visitors with South African Gareth Carr distributing the ball from the back. Ipswich started off defending superbly but surrended possession too easily which resulted in a string of short corners for the home team, the second of which Carr expertly converted.
Ipswich eventually woke up and began to stamp their superiority on the game. Consistent pressure resulted in a short corner which Dixon powered home. Again after the re-start the visitors were pinned back by a very determined Plymouth team. The sustained pressure paid off for the home side when Nick Clooke skillfully turned Messant and placed a shot into the bottom left hand corner past Middleton.
Marjons advantage was shortlived as Ipswich revived themselves and stepped up a level. Chance after chance was missed, however a short corner was won which again Dixon converted to give himself a 100 per cent strike rate for the match.
Instead of sitting back, Ipswich continued to create chances. Just before half time Ivan Smoth converted a scintilating move involving Reed, Reeves and Messant before a lovely pass to Smith who had an empty net to tap into. The half time whistle blew with Ipswich leading 3-2.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first half, Plymouth attacking with Ipswich defending well. The points looked as though they were safe for the Suffolk side with Plymouth creating very few clear cut opportunities, with the new full back partnership of Keir Dixon and Ian Swallow nullifying Marjons attack. The game was becoming a dull affair with both teams not being able to string passes together.
A big moment then arrived when a seemingly great tackle by Keir Dixon led to captain Fulker running the ball out, however, the umpire blew up. From the resulting short corner Carr converted a drag flick which resulted in a bitter Ipswich side.
Ipswich found it hard to get up and running again. Plymouth took advantage of this and Will Murray soon converted via a neat deflection to make it 4-3 to Plymouth.
Ipswich never gave up though, and via Plymouth's best efforts to time waste Ipswich capitalised. Gareth Carr dwelled on the ball on the half way line, relinquishing possession and a sweet move eventually led to Evans being passed the ball just inside the top right hand side of the circle. Evans, who hadn't by his own admission had the best of games for the visitors, unleashed an unstoppable shot past the helpless Plymouth keeper in the last 20 seconds of the match. A jubilant Ipswich team embraced Evans while the home team collapsed with disappointment. This was a game which Ipswich really aimed to win, but under the circumstances will be happy with a draw. Plymouth still lie four points behind the Suffolk side and have five tough fixtures ahead.