Vital away win for Ipswich in battle to avoid the drop
- Credit: Archant
Women’s hockey - Investec EHL East Conference
Sevenoaks 2, Ipswich 3
Ipswich produced a performance to be proud of as they defeated Sevenoaks, 3-2, in Investec East League, to give themselves a boost in their quest for national league survival.
Despite a great start, the away team were 1-0 down within seven minutes as Sevenoaks took a difficult chance.
To Ipswich’s credit this just inspired them to work harder and some fantastic play by forwards Lowri Davies, Chloe Hunnable and Sarah Bamfield saw them start to carve out chances.
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The breakthrough came in the 15th minute as a fantastic run by vice-captain Charlie Anderson saw her cross the ball into the circle and Bamfield’s neat touch saw it deflect into the goal.
Ipswich looked inspired and poured forward, Sophie Hart and Davies causing problems down the right with Hunnable also causing similar issues with her pace down the left.
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Five minutes later and, after Hunnable had won a corner, Anderson fired in a corner to make it 2-1 to the Suffolk side.
Ipswich knew the second half would be a real test and sure enough the home side came out the blocks all guns blazing. Within five minutes of the re-start, the home team were level. Ipswich failed to clear their lines and Sevenoaks took the chance.
Sevenoaks then poured forwards again and only some great saves by joint player of the match Mariette Rix kept them out.
As time wore on, the game was end to end but some great defending by joint player of the match Emily Davies and Emma Fairhead saw Ipswich survive.
Time was running out and Sevenoaks were twice down to 10 players as Ipswich drove on.
Then with one minute left, Charlie Anderson fired the ball into the circle, Davie had a shot and the ball spilled to Bamfield who saw her shot stopped by a Sevenoaks foot, the umpire awarding a penalty stroke.
The penalty stroke was calmly despatched by Hunnable and Ipswich now led 3-2 and hung on to win.
With Old Loughts and Chelmsford both winning, Ipswich remain in the relegation spot but now six teams are within five points of each other and with two games to play none of them are safe. There is all to play for.
Next up for Ipswich is a home game against Harleston, who lost 4-2 to Loughts.
Chelmsford Ladies 3, St Albans 0
Chelmsford secured their third successive win with an excellent display of controlled and confident hockey.
After nine minutes, clever switching with Emer Acton and Kate Taylor allowed Valentine space at the top of the D and a sweetly-struck reverse-stick shot gave the home team the early lead.
The second half saw Chelmsford tighten their grip on the game, with Collette Ager and Tori Clark keeping up the pressure at the front.
But after 10 minutes, it was another move into the D by Cheryl Valentine that opened up the St Albans’ defence.
With a precision cut back into the centre, Julia Butterworth was able to calmly sweep the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.
St Albans’ quality came through as they worked hard to get back into the game with some fast attacks.
Chelmsford stayed strong and organised and frustrated these efforts and, at the midpoint of the half, Kate Taylor picked up the ball in the D, kept her head and slotted the ball home to score Chelmsford’s third.
Careful control of the rest of the match ensured Chelmsford’s win.
Chelmsford’s next match is away at Sevenoaks on Saturday 15 March with pushback at 1.30pm.
East Men’s Premier A
Chelmsford 2, Harelston Magpies 4
The opening exchanges were cagey with no clear cut chances at either end.
Chelmsford were first to strike when a promising Harleston attack was intercepted by Will Stock, who started an attack involving Dillet Gilkes and Vasan Veerapalan, who was downed by the keeper.
Harry Rayner confidently converted the subsequent penalty flick.
Magpies drew level through a penalty stroke of their own after a clumsy tackle in the D, which squeezed into the goal despite James Stock’s best efforts.
The two teams maintained a good standard of hockey into the second half, but it was Magpies who took the lead for the first time after 10 minutes.
A loss of possession in the midfield led to a Magpies counter-attack and, after a scramble in the D, the ball was slotted in at the far post from a sweetly-struck reverse shot.
Chelmsford equalised through a stunning piece of individual skill from man of the match Alex Rumbold.
Picking up the ball on the left flank he weaved through the defence before confidently striking a fierce shot on the run past the advancing keeper.
The lead was sadly short lived as Magpies took a contentious lead following a short corner routine which was far from conventional.
With time ticking away, Magpies elected to hold on to the ball for as long as possible, although Chelmsford created a number of attacking threats which lacked the final touch.
With just two minutes left on the clock, Magpies scored another short corner, this time a broken down ball to the injector was fiercely flicked in at the near post.
Colchester 2, Upminster 2
Colchester started the game well and on the whole played the ball around well.
However, a careless pass from Duncan Scott in the Colchester defence allowed Upminster to break quickly and a slip by Michael Pearce in the ‘D’ allowed the Upminster forward the space to fire his shot past Aaron Sime.
Colchester were in generous mood and soon Upminster had doubled their advantage.
It was a game of two halves and the real Colchester turned up in the second half, laying siege on the Upminster goal. They soon got back into the match with their first goal.
The ball was moved from the left to Michael Pearce, who showed good composure to fire the ball up to Vince Moore in the ‘D’. He in turn deflected the ball into the goal.
Colchester’s equaliser came when Rohan Khaira found some space in the ‘D’.
Just as he was about to shoot, he was fouled and, after some deliberation, the umpire awarded penalty stroke.
Khaira himself stepped up to take and pushed the ball home.
Colchester will travel to second placed Old Southendian next week as they look to ensure their place in Division One next season.