Surbiton 2 Ipswich 2
Investec English Hockey League
Women’s Conference East
IPSWICH turned in their best performance so far in the Investec East Conference and were a minute away from inflicting hosts Surbiton first defeat of the season but a last gasp penalty corner conversion saw the current leaders snatch a point.
The Suffolk team travelled to South West London with a small squad, missing Annie Nunn and Faye Curran. Nunn was attending her sister’s wedding and will be available for the next game but Curran is likely to be out for six weeks as she has broken her finger and dislocated her knuckle in a training accident.
The game started with Surbiton looking to dominate the proceedings but the visitors were not there to make up numbers and all over the pitch they stepped in front and dominated their opposite number. Highlighted brilliantly by Hannah Tallent and Kat Wrinch who constantly thwarted their opposite number.
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On the 14th minute Ipswich opened the scoring, 15-year-old Kitty McWhirter scoring a cracking goal in the top corner after a super pass from Anni Broster.
Surbiton looked shocked to be behind and started to try and force the ball, which just played into Ipswich’s hands.
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With Hannah Martin causing havoc on the right of the pitch the hosts were reduced to 10 after several nasty stick tackles. Ipswich wasted no time in making them pay as Anni Broster deflected in from a short corner. It was Brosters third goal of the season and her 18th EHL goal.
So many players were having great games, but particular mention must go to Fran Tew and Alice Poole who were playing superbly.
Ipswich knew the second half would bring a renewed surge from their hosts and sure enough Surbiton had learnt some lessons and started to pass the ball well. Twelve minutes in they finally broke down the excellent Ipswich defence through a well worked corner.
Ipswich were not going to lie down though and despite some continued pressure time and time again the visitors broke down any threat. Charlie Anderson making numerous outstanding tackles and Mariette Rix in goal dealing with any shots.
Ipswich were soaking up the pressure well and hit Surbiton on the breakaway and were unlucky not to finish off a great move started by Poole from the back but Hannah Martin’s effort was saved by the keepers stick.
With time running out Ipswich’s small squad was beginning to feel the full effects of this fast paced game and things were made worse when they were reduced to 10 players in the last 2 minutes.
Surbiton were granted one final lifeline as they won a short corner and much to Ipswich’s despair they forced the ball over the line after 2 great saves by Rix in goal.
As the final whistle went it was the hosts that were the happier with the point as Ipswich briefly reflected on what might have been. However it soon dawned on Ipswich how well they had played and how much more they have to give.
The team now have a week off as the Junior players head to their high performance camps but they will be looking forward to getting back to business in their next match against Chelmsford on November 5.