Crunch match for Ipswich

IPSWICH and Chelmsford will both be going all out to win in this Saturday's crunch derby match.The Suffolk and Essex sides both recorded morale-boosting 2-2 draws in the Slazenger EHL Premier Division against teams from higher up the table last weekend, and they now sit sixth and fifth in the league respectively.

IPSWICH and Chelmsford will both be going all out to win in this Saturday's crunch derby match.

The Suffolk and Essex sides both recorded morale-boosting 2-2 draws in the Slazenger EHL Premier Division against teams from higher up the table last weekend, and they now sit sixth and fifth in the league respectively.

Things could not be tighter between the two rivals, who now both have 11 points from eight games with an identical record of three wins, two draws and three defeats.

Ipswich manager Donna Mills said: “It is always a bit of an interesting fixture, shall we say. There is always some added spice playing Chelmsford and always a bit of extra passion. These are the sort of games everyone wants to win.

“In the last couple of years things have generally gone our way against Chelmsford so in a way they probably owe us one. But the men are playing before us so hopefully there will be a big crowd at Tuddenham Road to cheer us on.”

Ipswich will go into the Chelmsford game full of confidence after their 2-2 draw against Bowdon Hightown last Saturday. The result signalled their first point in three matches and it came against a side who now drop from third to fourth place.

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Mills said: “Going to Hightown and getting a point is great, especially as in the last few years they have been a difficult side for us away from home.

“They scored first but we settled down and got a really good goal straight from the training ground.

“When they went in front again they were really celebrating because a win would have put them top so it was nice to go and get the equaliser and shut them up!”

The only disappointment for Ipswich was that they could not capitalise on Bowdon's two second-half red cards. Mills said: “I felt they looked to spoil the game. Some of their tackles were a bit meaty, to say the least. People say it can be harder to play against ten men, but really we should have capitalised.”

Meanwhile, Chelmsford also go into the Ipswich game in similar circumstances to their rivals. Last weekend, Chelmsford drew 2-2 at home to Slough, who are second in the table.

Like Ipswich they were pleased with the result although also slightly disappointed not to take all three points.

Chelmsford's England international Chloe Rogers explained: “We played really well and would probably have taken a draw at the start of the game, but the disappointing thing is that we were 2-0 up at half time.

“We just had a bad spell for the first ten minutes of the second half where we conceded twice, but hopefully we will learn from that mistake.”

Speaking on the up-and-coming derby match against Ipswich, Rogers said: “The game against Ipswich has always been an important one for us, but with us being so closely placed this season it's even more so.

“It's the last game ahead of the big break for Christmas and the indoor league so it would be nice to finish on a winning note.”