Ipswich stay top after draw with title rivals Peterborough

Kristine Ayling was on the mark for Ipswich at Peterborough. Picture: PETER SAVAGE

Kristine Ayling was on the mark for Ipswich at Peterborough. Picture: PETER SAVAGE - Credit: Archant

East Premier A City of Peterborough 1 Ipswich 1 After playing in the National League Indoor play-offs weekend, top of the table Ipswich were back in East Premier League action against title challengers City of Peterborough.

Both teams were well aware that a win would strengthen their chances of claiming the league title and, after a 2-2 draw in the previous meeting, the match always had the potential to be a tight affair.

Ipswich started brightly, creating several very good chances in the opening 10 minutes. But some good saves by the home team’s stopper kept the ball out, with Lizzy Wheelhouse particularly unlucky not to see her neat touch in front of goal go in.

The home team started to find their feet and only some good defending by Kristine Ayling, Kat Blake and Mary Sacker kept them out. The game was now evenly balanced and it was Peterborough’s time to feel unlucky in front of goal. A penalty stroke was awarded as a shot hit an Ipswich body on the line but the taker fired the ball off the crossbar and Ipswich breathed a sigh of relief.

Half-time arrived with the teams locked at 0-0 but it was Ipswich that felt they should have been ahead after dominating the number of scoring chances, and coach Mariette Rix reminded them to stay patient.

The second half saw the goals finally arrive but it was the home team that took the lead, an overload leaving a tap in.

Ipswich though responded brilliantly and just three minutes later were level, Ayling from a penalty corner.

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Peterborough then looked like they would re-take the lead but a great save by Ali Barham and a diving Clare Poole kept the ball out.

Ipswich surged forward, won a run of penalty corners and thought they had scored – but the umpire spotted a foot involved and the goal was disallowed.

With time ticking down Peterborough won a corner but Ipswich defended it well and the honours ended even.

Ipswich stay two points clear of Peterborough at the top of the league, but with six games left to play it looks like the title chase will go all the way to the wire.