Sudbury II 0 Ipswich Cranes 6
NE14Hockey East Men’s League
Ipswich Cranes maintained their 100% start to the season with a comprehensive victory over Sudbury II.
The away side arrived at the ground with plenty of time to spare and their preparation paid off as they put six goals past a beleaguered Sudbury side. It could have been a lot worse for the home team too as Cranes posed a constant threat in attack.
Ipswich Cranes started the match on the front foot and a series of fast breaks eventually led to top scorer Robin Johnson linking up well with Matt Burden on the left before applying a clever reverse stick lifted finish over the Sudbury keeper.
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This was soon followed by a second goal for the away side as another swift break away down the left ended with Burden lifting the ball into the top corner of the net.
A bizarre incident at the other end though led to a yellow card being received by Cranes keeper Chris McManus following a bust up involving his brother Andrew and a Sudbury centre-forward.
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Ipswich Cranes had no option but to put outfield defender Phil Larbey between the sticks for the resulting short corner and 10 minutes of play that followed.
Incredibly though, the away side were able to maintain possession and restrict Sudbury’s chances to shoot at goal to the bare minimum, maintaining their clean sheet.
This served as inspiration for Ipswich Cranes to go on and complete their victory, despite a second-half yellow card being given to the hard-working Andel in midfield also.
Johnson made it 3-0 before half-time after an excellent one-two with Burden and sublime first-time finish.
After the break, Johnson completed his hat-trick with a super lobbed finish from the edge of the D.
Skipper Andrew Bristow followed this with a precision finish into the bottom right hand corner and Cranes created many more chances with striker Paul Muchal being very unlucky not to get on the scoresheet too.
With minutes to go, Craig Bloomfield ventured forward into the D and completed the 6-0 victory with an undercooked shot that made its way past the Sudbury keeper with the aid of a slight deflection.
The victory takes Ipswich Cranes to the top of Division 3NE, a position they will be fighting hard to maintain in the weeks to come.
Man of the match: Matt Burden